Spring Convocation 2005
—Four distinguished Canadians were celebrated this past weekend with Honorary Doctorates as Brandon University held its 94th Annual Spring Convocation. Musicians James Ehnes and Tom Cochrane received Doctorates of Music during Saturday morning's ceremony, while journalist Henry Champ and actress Shirley Douglas were celebrated in the afternoon's proceedings.
Tom Cochrane and James Ehnes come from different spectrums of music world. Tom, a folk-singer, is most well-known for his rock hits, while James is a world-renowned classical violinist.
Cochrane has not only touched people with his award-winning music, but more importantly, with his contributions as a volunteer.
A long-time contributor and the face of World Vision, Cochrane has also lent his efforts to the Parkinson's Society Canada. Quite honored in receiving his first Honorary Doctorate, Cochrane was unable to stay for long as he had a concert scheduled for Edmonton that evening.
Ehnes, on the other hand, wowed the audience after accepting his Doctorate, by playing a piece on his 1715 Stradivarius (which is on an extended loan from the Fulton Collection, purchased solely for Ehnes). At 29, this makes Ehnes the youngest recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Brandon Universtity. A Brandon native, who got his start at the BU Conservatory, he will lead Masters' classes at the School of Music during extended stays beginning in September.
Shirley Douglas, a celebrated actress of the stage, is connected to Brandon University through her father, Tommy Douglas—the father of Medicare, a Brandon University Alumnus and recently acclaimed by CBC as the "Greatest Canadian," Shirley is an activist for Social and Environmental causes, following in her father's footsteps.
The only Brandon University alumnus of the four honored on Saturday, Henry Champ, has led a life in the spotlight as a top journalist. It was his interest in journalism which sparked while attending the University that led him down his career path. Getting started at the Brandon Sun, Champ soon went on to bigger things; he made his way from radio to television. Honing his craft over the years with some of North America's top news networks NBC, CBC, and CTV, Champ is recognized as one of the top reporters in his field.
Kelly Curtis, a graduate at the morning convocation, heard acceptance speeches from both Cochrane and Ehnes. She said, "They both spoke very well and it was an honor to have them associated with the University." Similar responses were heard by other graduates at the event, as the days proceeding were well-attended, and the honored guests were well received.
Scholarship and Research ~ Communications ~ Outreach ~ Performanc & Accountability ~ Environment
—Brandon University is growing and is in good shape, President Louis Visentin told BU journalism students at a press conference Tuesday night. Visentin was very charismatic, taking control of the room with his charm, wit, and his ability to control the flow of the press briefing, demonstrating great PR abilities. Visentin stated his theory that the role of a President is a political role, rather than one of an academic nature.
This program, as he put it, was the blueprint of what he has and wants to accomplish during his time as President.
During his discussions about SCOPE 20/20, he explained how the strategy affected the students, faculty and the general public.
Visentin quoted Tommy Douglas, who was recently voted the greatest Canadian of the 20th century.
"We will work to meet high expectations of students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of Brandon University."
Visentin pointed out that he is following his blueprint and completing the tasks that he has set forth.
He holds briefings with the faculty to let them know what progress he has made and produced an updated brochure called "Enroute" which explains his progress. A member of the journalism class asked about the status of updating wireless computer connections in Clark Hall.
His response was that MTS was in the process of giving a grant to Brandon University. Visentin hopes that this will take effect sometime during the summer.
He is happy about the renovations in the library, which now has a common room. "And," he said, "The entire library building now has wireless networking."
Visentin concluded by stating that Scope 20/20 will be following the same format with bigger and better things to come for BU.