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Order of Canada honours U of T faculty, alumni

Benefactors also recognized

Former prime minister Paul Martin, a U of T alumnus and an honorary degree recipient, was the only person named a Companion of the Order of Canada -- the order's highest honour -- in the Dec. 2011 appointments list. (Photo by Johnny Guatto)

Three University of Toronto faculty members, nine alumni and two additional U of T benefactors have been honoured with  year-end Order of Canada appointments.

Fourteen of the 66 Canadians named to receive one of Canada’s highest civilian honours have ties to the university.  The three levels of the order – companion, officer and member -- were established in 1967, during Canada’s centennial year, to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation.

The only person awarded the title of companion on Dec. 30 was a U of T alumnus, former prime minister Paul Martin, who earned his undergraduate degree at St. Michael’s College and his law degree at the Faculty of Law. He was recognized for his distinguished contributions to Canadian politics and for his active involvement in promoting opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians.

New officers of the order include faculty member Donald Fraser, alumni Gordon Guyatt, Thomas Jenkins, Bruce Kuwabara, Charles Pachter, Catherine Robbin and Jeffrey Skoll and benefactor Seymour Schulich, while the new  members include faculty members Mary Ferguson-Paré and Bernard Zinman, alumni Ana Lopes and Maïr Verthuy and benefactor Lawrence Bloomberg.

Fraser, a professor emeritus of statistics as well as a graduate of Trinity College, was recognized for his contributions to the advancement of statistical sciences in Canada.

Guyatt, a physician and professor at McMaster University who graduated from Victoria College, was honoured for his contributions to evidence-based medicine and its teaching.

Jenkins, an engineering graduate, is the executive chair and chief strategy officer for Open Text Corporation. He was recognized for his innovative contributions to the development of the high technology industry in Canada.

Kuwabara is a familiar name at U of T, not only an alumnus of the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, but as the architect for the Rotman School of Management’s expansion project and the UTSC Faculty of Management. The partner at Kuwabara, Payne, McKenna, Blumberg Architects was honoured for his contributions to the architectural profession,  to our build landscape and for his commitment to professional excellence.

Artist Pachter is a graduate of University College whose works of sculpture can be seen on campus. He was cited by Governor General David Johnston for his contributions to the arts community as an iconic artist as well as  for his charitable activities.

Robbin, a graduate of Woodsworth College, is on the music faculty at York University. She is recognized for her accomplishments as a premier mezzo-soprano of international repute and as a professor of classical voice performance.

To many people, Skoll’s creation, e-Bay, is better known than his name, but the electrical engineering graduate and chair of Participant Media and the Skoll Foundation has been cited for his generous commitment to social causes and for his innovative practice of philanthropy.

Schulich, a prominent supporter of post-secondary education nationwide, is the benefactor behind U of T’s Seymour Schulich Awards in Nursing. His citation highlights his transformational philosophy in support of our education and healthcare institutions.

Among new members of the order, two have ties to the Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing, including its benefactor. Bloomberg is recognized for his social engagement and philanthropy, notably in the areas of health care and education.  Ferguson-Paré, an associate professor, has been honoured for her contributions to the nursing profession and to improved quality of care for patients.

Dr. Bernard Zinman, a professor of medicine and director of the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes, has been recognized for his contributions as a leading diabetologist, advancing the knowledge of the disease and its complications.

Alumna Lopes, a Woodsworth College graduate, was cited for her contributions as a volunteer and philanthropist to various arts and healthcare organizations, while alumna Verthuy, a professor emeritus at Concordia University, was honoured for her contributions as a professor, researcher and activist, to the advancement of Francophone literature and of women.

The new Order of Canada appointees will be formally recognized by the Governor General in Ottawa at a future date.