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New Orders of Canada awarded to members of U of T community

(photo by Victor To via Flickr)

They are University of Toronto alumni, faculty and honorary grads – writers, doctors, lawyers, philanthropists and scholars.  Now, they are also some of the country’s newest recipients of the Order of Canada. 

Established in 1967, the Order recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. In a statement on its website, the Governor General’s office says the Order recognizes “people in all sectors of Canadian society. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and made a difference to this country.”

Released at the end of December by Governor General David Johnston, the latest list of appointees and progressions within the Order includes many faculty members, including Professor Charles Pascal of OISE and Professors Nancy Margaret Reid and Mark Lautens of the Faculty of Arts & Science. Lautens, a leading scholar of chemistry, and Reid, a leading scholar of statistics, were both named Officers of the Order and both already carry the rank of University Professor – the highest distinction U of T can convey. (Read more about Lautens and his work.) (Read more about Reid.)

“Once again the Order of Canada shines a light on the remarkable contributions of a wide range of U of T faculty members and alumni,” said Meric Gertler, president of the University of Toronto.

“Leading scholars across the humanities, social sciences, sciences and in our professional faculties are being celebrated alongside prominent University citizens and leaders in the community. I  am delighted to offer my congratulations on this prestigious recognition.”

Faculty of Medicine professors recognized include Dr. Brenda Gallie, Dr. Catherine Zahn, Dr. Shafique Keshavjee, Dr. Norman Emilio Marcon, Dr. Wendy Levinson and Dr. Laurence Klotz. Two U of T chancellors were also honoured: Wendy Cecil, chancellor of Victoria University and Bill Graham, chancellor of Trinity College.

They join nearly two dozen members of the U of T community named to, or promoted within, the Order earlier in the year. (Read about the 2014 honourees named last summer.)

Many community leaders were also recognized in December. Business leader, philanthropist and Rotman School of Management Professor Emeritus James Douglas Fleck was promoted within the Order to Companion – the highest level of recognition. And longtime U of T supporter Gary Slaight and alumnus Russell J. Morrison were named members of the Order in recognition of both their business leadership and their philanthropy. 

Literary luminaries recognized include alumni Charlie ForanEric Walters and Dan Needles. Foran, former president of the charity PEN Canada and winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Charles Taylor Award, is the author of 11 books. A senior fellow at Massey College, he is currently teaching a class in Irish drama at U of T and was honoured both for his writing and his support for Canadian writers. Playwright Needles, author of the Wingfield Farm series, was recognized both for his literary contributions and for championing the arts beyond Canada's big cities.

Walters – one of the most popular and respected authors of children’s and young adult literature in Canada – is a former teacher who received his bachelor of education from U of T. The author of nearly 100 novels, Walters is also a noted philanthropist (http://creationofhope.com/) but was recognized purely for his literary works. The bestselling author logs roughly 500 school and library visits a year, meeting more than 75,000 kids.

“Everywhere I go, I talk about Canada and how it's the greatest country on Earth – and I talk about the Canadian heroes that nobody knows about,” Walters said. “This recognition is significant because I am a really proud Canadian.

The Governor General’s list of U of T community members recognized is below. (C.C. signifies a Companion of the Order;  O.C. signifies an Officer of the Order and C.M. signifies a Member of the Order):

James Douglas Fleck, C.C.
For his enduring contributions and strategic leadership as one of Canada’s leading arts patrons, and for endowing our national cultural institutions, notably by partnering business with the arts.   
Shaf Keshavjee, O.C.
For his innovative contributions to thoracic surgery, notably in the development of a process that has improved lung transplantation worldwide.
Mark Lautens, O.C. 
For his contributions at the forefront of organic chemistry, which have led to the creation of new medicinal compounds with fewer side effects.
Wendy Levinson, O.C.
For her contributions to promoting effective communication between physicians and patients, as well as for her sustained leadership in academic medicine.

Norman Emilio Marcon, O.C.
For his contributions to the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases and for his work to disseminate the latest advances in therapeutic endoscopy.

James Rodger Miller, O.C., S.O.M.
For his even-handed and definitive scholarship on the history of relations between Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and its settlers.
Nancy Margaret Reid, O.C.
For her leadership in the field of statistical inference, which has helped to facilitate sound public policy decision making.
Caroline Andrew, C.M.
For her academic research on cultural diversity, and on urban and feminist studies, and for her civic involvement with non-profit and community-based organizations.

Baidar Bakht, C.M.
For his contributions to the improvement of bridge design and for his scholarship in making Urdu poetry accessible for Canadian audiences.

Christina Stuart Cameron, C.M.
For her contributions to heritage preservation through her work with Parks Canada, with UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention, and as a university professor.

Wendy Marion Cecil, C.M.
For her accomplishments as a business leader and for her extensive community engagement.

George Cope, C.M.
For his leadership in corporate social responsibility, particularly in the area of mental health, and for his contributions to the telecommunications industry.
Conrad Charles Daellenbach, C.M.
For popularizing classical music, notably as a founder of the Canadian Brass, one of our nation’s most internationally renowned classical music groups.

Michael DeGagné, C.M., O.Ont.
For his support of residential school survivors and First Nations communities, notably as the head of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

Charles Foran, C.M.
For his acclaimed work as a literary journalist, biographer and novelist, and for his staunch support of Canadian writers.

Brenda Louise Gallie, C.M.
For her contributions to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of retinoblastoma, a childhood eye cancer.
The Honourable William C. Graham, P.C., C.M.
For his many contributions to Canadian politics.

Thomas Jon Harle, C.M., C.D.
For his commitment to providing free dental services to homeless and vulnerable people in Ottawa and in developing countries.

Adèle M. Hurley, C.M.
For her commitment to the conservation and the protection of Canada’s natural resources.

Patrick Johnston, C.M.
For his contributions to the charitable sector as an innovator who develops more effective giving strategies for organizations.

Laurence Klotz, C.M.
For his contributions to the treatment of prostate cancer, notably for leading the adoption of active surveillance as a standard aspect of patient care.
John Barker Lawson, C.M.
For his transformative contributions as a volunteer in support of many of Toronto’s most important music ensembles and arts organizations.

Susan McGrath, C.M.
For her contributions to research and policy on refugee rights and for fostering collaboration among scholars in her field.
Russell J. Morrison, C.M.
For his pioneering contributions to Canada’s investment industry and for his philanthropy in education and community-building initiatives.

Dan Needles, C.M.
For celebrating our rural communities as the playwright of the much-loved Wingfield Farm series, and for championing the dramatic arts outside of Canada’s major centres.

Charles E. Pascal, C.M.
For his public service and for his contributions to public education in Canada, notably in the field of early childhood development.

Gary Slaight, C.M.
For his achievements as a business leader and for his generosity in the development of emerging artists.

Eric Robert Walters, C.M.
For his contributions as an author of literature for children and young adults whose stories help young readers grapple with complex social issues.

Catherine Zahn, C.M.
For her contributions as a neurologist, health care administrator and advocate on behalf of those living with mental health and addiction issues.

(Read the full list of honourees announced in December.)

January 14, 2015