Four honorary degrees will be conferred at the University of Prince Edward Island’s two convocation ceremonies on Saturday, May 10. Honorary graduands include well-known Canadian industrialist Robert K. Irving; retired Major-General Matthew Macdonald; music educator and former Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, the Honourable Barbara A. Hagerman; and community visionary and retired educator James C. MacAulay.
“This is an important year for PEI, the birthplace of Confederation, as the province celebrates 150 years since hosting the Charlottetown Conference,” said UPEI President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, “It is so fitting that each of our honorary degree recipients, in addition to excelling in their careers, have contributed to building community and nationhood.”
The University’s Senate approved the honorary graduands at a meeting earlier this year in accordance with University policy that states honorary doctorates of laws will be presented to individuals who display the highest levels of achievement in public and community service.
Mr. Robert K. Irving is a well-known Canadian industrialist and is currently Co-Chief Executive Officer of J.D. Irving, Limited, responsible for several businesses within the Irving Group of Companies including consumer products in tissue and diapers, frozen food processing, transportation and courier, as well as industrial human resource services. Highly involved in the community, Irving supports a wide variety of youth education and literacy programs, and is also an active fundraiser and champion for community health and development. In 2011, Mr. Irving received the “Builder of Youth Lifetime Achievement” award from the Boys & Girls Club of Moncton in recognition of his leadership and contribution. He is also involved with the local Moncton Wildcats Hockey team and is the current chair of the Greater Moncton Economic Leadership Council. Irving resides in Moncton, New Brunswick with his wife Jill and their four children.
Major-General Matt Macdonald retired from the Canadian Forces in 2011 after over 35 years of service. During his time in the Forces, he commanded Canadians at all levels within the Army structure and was greatly revered for his leadership skills. Prior to enrolling in the Forces, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UPEI. Macdonald was awarded the Order of the Military Merit at the Officer grade, an exceptional performance distinction bestowed on few. Over the course of his career, he has spent time in Somalia, Bosnia, Afghanistan and many other places in support of Canadian Forces missions. Over the last four years of his career, he served the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces as the Chief of Defence Intelligence where he was the principal intelligence advisor to the Minister of National Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff. Since retirement he has worked with his son’s software company, MJL Enterprises Inc., of Charlottetown, PEI.
The Honourable Barbara A. Hagerman is a music educator, community volunteer, and graduate of Mount Allison University’s music program. She has been involved in the music community on PEI as a choral conductor, music teacher, vocalist, organist, and advocate for music and the arts for more than 45 years. Hagerman served on the national boards of the Canada Council, the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals, the Association of Canadian Choral Conductors, and the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust. Her volunteerism in PEI includes efforts on behalf of the PEI Music Festival Association, various figure skating and gymnastics programs, and church initiatives. In 2006, Hagerman was installed as the 40th Lieutenant-Governor of PEI. In this role, she connected directly with the University and was instrumental in the establishment of two major initiatives that have had a profound and positive impact on students. Hagerman is a member of the Order of PEI, Dame of Justice of the Order of St. John, a Paul Harris Fellow with Rotary International, and Elder at St. James Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown. She resides in Stratford with her husband Nelson.
Mr. James (Jim) C. MacAulay earned his Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees at Saint Dunstan’s University, and a Master of Education degree from St. Francis Xavier University. He has held positions as a teacher, Vice Principal, and Principal of Morell Regional High School, and as a consultant with the Eastern School District. He introduced the Drivers’ Education Program to Morell Regional High School, helped expand the Red Cross Water Safety Program in St. Peters/Morell, established Early Childhood Education in Morell, and was instrumental in the creation of the Morell Learning Centre. Although retired, MacAulay continues to educate people through his various volunteer activities in the community. He is a past president of the PEI Teachers Federation, PEI Retired Teachers Association, and Provincial Command, Royal Canadian Legion. A visionary who is widely known for his organizational ability and his ability to “get things done,” MacAulay has been a catalyst for the development of numerous initiatives in many communities in Prince Edward Island and is a strong proponent of the benefit of higher education. MacAulay and his wife Lauretta reside in St. Peters Bay, PEI.
The Convocation ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 10 in the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre with the first ceremony beginning at 10:00 am and the afternoon ceremony at 2:30 pm. Irving will address the morning convocation while Hagerman will deliver the afternoon ceremony’s address.