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Global health leader, new chancellor honoured June 18

June 4, 2014
James Orbinski

Royal Roads University (RRU) graduates will share the stage with one of the world’s leading scholars and scientists in global health, and the university’s fifth chancellor will be installed during spring convocation ceremonies at the Royal Theatre on June 18.

Celebrated physician, researcher, and global health and human rights leader James Orbinski will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in recognition of his contribution to humanitarianism and medical science.

Orbinski accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) for its pioneering approach to medical humanitarianism in 1999. He served as president of MSF from 1998 to 2001, and received Canada’s highest civilian award, the Meritorious Service Cross, for his leadership in MSF’s mission in Rwanda during the 1994 genocide. His many honours include membership in the Order of Ontario and the Order of Canada.

“We are honoured to be able to recognize someone who applies his talents and skills as a physician to those who are most in need,” said Royal Roads president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon. “His service and compassion inspire us and our graduates as we continue to build a legacy of learning and leadership at Royal Roads.”

Prominent Victoria businessman and Royal Roads Board of Governors Chair Wayne Strandlund will be installed as chancellor at the start of the morning ceremony.

“Wayne is a successful local entrepreneur with a strong commitment to this community and someone who is passionate about Royal Roads University and his role as our fifth chancellor,” Cahoon said.

Strandlund is the founder and CEO of Fisgard Capital Corporation, a Victoria-based, family-run mortgage investment company he started in 1994. A director of the Real Estate Compensation Fund Corporation and a member of the Victoria Symphony Business Advisory Council, he has served as president of the Victoria Real Estate Board and the British Columbia Real Estate Association. Strandlund was appointed to the RRU board by the B.C. government in July 2011.

This spring’s convocation ceremonies recognize the achievements of more than 760 students who have earned degrees, certificates or diplomas in the Faculty of Management or in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences.

In a milestone event for the university, the first graduates of the Doctor of Social Sciences (DSocSci) program will be conferred degrees at this convocation. Royal Roads’ applied research doctoral program is the first of its kind in Canada.

Royal Roads University Spring 2014 Convocation ceremonies are held at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St., Victoria B.C. on June 18, 2014.

9:30 a.m.             Installation of Chancellor Wayne Strandlund
                                Ceremony for the Faculty of Management

1:30 p.m.             Conferral of honorary degree on James Orbinski
                                Ceremony for the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences

Both morning and afternoon ceremonies will be available to view live on Royal Roads University’s broadcast channel.

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Royal Roads University, a public university established in 1995, offers a progressive model of post-secondary education, delivering applied and professional programs through the faculties of management and social and applied sciences. The university offers its students a unique blended learning experience, combining online and on-campus instruction, as well as full time intensive on-campus instruction in undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees, certificates and diplomas. It also offers progressive executive, custom and continuing studies programs.

The public is invited to nominate outstanding individuals for honorary degrees. Learn more.

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For media queries, contact:

Doug Ozeroff, Senior Manager, Communications and Alumni Relations

P 250-391-2526, C 250-812-5065, doug.1ozeroff@royalroads.ca