Iona Campagnolo is a woman of many roles and, among them, many "firsts". First woman to be named Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia in 2001. Founding Chair of the Fraser Basin Council in 1997. First Chancellor of the University of Northern British Columbia in 1994. First female president of the Liberal Party of Canada in 1982. Canada's first Minister of State for Fitness and Amateur Sport in 1976.
Born on Galiano Island, Iona Campagnolo began her illustrious career as a radio broadcaster. She entered politics in 1966 as a trustee and then chair of the Prince Rupert School Board. In 1974, she was elected to the House of Commons in the riding of Skeena and remained in political office until 1979 when once again a career in broadcasting beckoned.
There are four words that ring true for Iona Campagnolo. With change is peace. This is the motto which appears on her personal coat of arms and it rings true for all of us at Royal Roads University.
As an influential and respected Canadian, Iona Campagnolo has been a champion of all the good that change brings. With dignity, dedication and an unwavering commitment to excellence, she has served selflessly as a public servant and a human rights advocate.
Iona Campagnolo is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Member of the Order of British Columbia and a Dame of the Order of St. John. She has received a Justice Institute Medal and been recognized with two honorary First Nations names. In the past, she has served as a board member for the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, CUSO and Project Angola.
Currently working with a Collaborative Watershed Management initiative, Iona Campagnolo serves in a number of honorary positions including as patron of the Centre for Child Honouring; the British Columbia Iris Society and the Bamfield Music Festival. She is an honourary director of Vancouver's celebration of the Canadian Naval Centennial (1910-2010) and a facilitator for the Simon Fraser University Salmon Summit.
Iona Campagnolo holds honorary doctorates from Simon Fraser University, the University of Northern British Columbia, the University of Victoria, the University of British Columbia, Brock University and Trent University.
For being a role model for change and for peace, Chancellor, it is indeed an honour to present Iona Campagnolo for the degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.