Spring 2007 Convocation

Royal Roads honours a humanitarian poet, a leader in international development and two First Nations leaders

Friday, June 15, 2007

A humanitarian poet, a leader in international development and two pillars of the First Nation community were honoured at Royal Roads University's spring convocation ceremonies.

Dr. Gary Geddes, one of Canada's most influential political poets, was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws for his lifetime of human-rights work and for advancing literature in Canada.

Isabel Lloyd, a former deputy minister in British Columbia's civil service who transitioned to international development work, was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws for her tireless efforts to strengthen democratic institutions in B.C. and Southeast Asia.

The Chancellor's Community Recognition Award for community service was presented to Chief Andy Thomas of the Esquimalt First Nation and Chief Robert Sam of the Songhees First Nation.

Both chiefs were honoured for their lifetime of work to advance living standards in their respective communities, for preserving aboriginal heritage and traditions, and for their determined advocacy of aboriginal rights in British Columbia.

"Each of our award recipients represents the highest achievement in community service, and in advancing human rights and human dignity," said Allan Cahoon, president of Royal Roads University.  "All four are outstanding examples of people working to improve society and to give hope to others."

A total of 837 students graduated on June 15. The majority of degrees conferred are MBAs and Masters of Arts in Leadership and Training.

The spring convocation also marked the 1,000th MBA graduate from the Tak Ming Institute of Management, a Royal Roads University affiliate in Taiwan, Hong Kong and several cities in Mainland China. More than 100 Asian graduates are expected to attend convocation.

Among the top students graduating this year is Scott Ackerman, in the MBA in Executive Management program, who placed in the top eight in Canada in the Certified Management Certificate exam. Ackerman also scored the highest overall marks of his MBA class. 

"The MBA program was intense, a sheer test of will. It was a great test to see if you have what it takes to succeed in the real world," said Ackerman, 33, a Hewlett Packard manager from Calgary and a recipient of a Royal Roads University Founders' Award. "It is real-life education for real-life leaders."

Award Recipients

Honorary Degree Recipient
Gary Geddes has unveiled deeper truths behind war and peace in conflict zones around the world.
Honorary Degree Recipient
Isabel Lloyd has always believed in making a difference.
Chancellor's Community Recognition Award Recipient
Chief Andy Thomas has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of Esquimalt First Nation people.
Chancellor's Community Recognition Award Recipient
Robert Sam is a courageous leader and ambassador for the aboriginal people of southern Vancouver Island.