Release Date: October 12, 2004
Media Contact: James Duggleby
Phone: (306) 585-5439
Mobile: (306) 536-4312
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Three honoured at University's fall convocation
Thomas Shoyama, a prominent public servant, and Ted and Margaret Newall, a couple who contributed to corporate and public life in Canada individually and together, will be presented with honorary doctor of laws degrees at the University of Regina's fall convocation, to be held Oct. 16 at the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts. 

Thomas K. Shoyama, O.C.

Thomas Shoyama helped establish a professional public service in Saskatchewan during the Tommy Douglas years, forming much of the machinery of government still in place in Saskatchewan and emulated across Canada and around the world.

Born in Kamloops, B.C., 88 years ago, Shoyama graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1938 with a bachelor of arts in economics and a bachelor of commerce. He worked as a journalist and published The New Canadian, even during his internment in Kaslo, B.C. during WWII. Toward the end of the war, he worked with the Canadian Army Intelligence Corps.

Upon discharge from the army, Shoyama joined the Saskatchewan government as a research economist. In 1950, he was appointed economic advisor to the premier. In 1964, along with other prominent Saskatchewan public servants known fondly as 'The Saskatchewan Mafia', Shoyama joined the Economic Council of Canada in Ottawa. In 1975, he became federal deputy minister of finance and in 1979, he served on the Privy Council of Canada, advising on the Constitution. He was also elected board chairman of Atomic Energy of Canada that year.

Though Shoyama retired from the federal public service in 1980, he served on the Macdonald Commission on the economy and taught at the University of Victoria until 1992.

Shoyama's profound commitment to public service has been recognized through several awards, including Officer of the Order of Canada (1978), Outstanding Achievement Award in the Public Service of Canada (1978), Vanier Medal in Public Administration from the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (1982), and honorary degrees from the University of British Columbia, the University of Windsor, and the University of Victoria. In 1992, the government of Japan awarded Shoyama the Order of the Sacred Treasure in recognition of his contributions to the Japanese-Canadian community.

J. E. (Ted) Newall, O.C.

Born in Alberta, Ted Newall completed high school in Prince Albert and earned a bachelor of commerce degree from the University of Saskatchewan in 1958.

Perhaps best known as chief executive officer of NOVA Corporation throughout the 1990s, Newall also contributed to industry and public service.

Newall began his career as a summer student with DuPont Canada in 1957, where he was promoted through the ranks. In 1978, he became president and chief executive officer and 10 years later became chairman and CEO of DuPont Canada and group vice-president international of E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co.

In 1991, NOVA Corporation attracted Newall from Quebec back to Western Canada as president and CEO. Since 1998, Newall has served on the NOVA corporate board as chairman. Newall also serves on the boards of Canadian Pacific Railway, Maple Leaf Foods, and The Royal Bank of Canada.

In public life, Newall is noted for facilitating co-operation between government and the private sector in public policy processes. He was the first chair of the Prime Minister's Advisory Committee on the Business/Government Exchange Program, was chairman of the Business Council on National Issues, and is a director of the Canadian Public Accountability Board. As well, he has been a strong and consistent supporter of his wife Margaret's work on behalf of healthy families and communities and co-chaired the United Way's Calgary Children's Initiative.

In 1993, The Financial Post and Caldwell Partners named Newall CEO of the Year. He was also recognized as Canadian Business Leader by the University of Alberta (1996), Honorary Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada (1996), and International Business Executive of the Year by the Canadian Council for International Business (1998). In 2001 he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. His contributions to public discourse have also been recognized through awards such as the Public Policy Forum Award (1988) and the APEX Public Service Citation (1997). In 2001, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada and has received honorary degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Calgary.

Margaret Newall, C.M.

Born in Davidson, Margaret Newall has exemplified Prairie people's belief that they can make a difference by taking action in their own communities. 

Newall is a founding member and chair of the Prairieaction Foundation. Under her leadership, the Prairieaction Foundation has raised more than $5M to fund research and education into issues of violence and abuse. Her success in raising private funds for social action is groundbreaking. Prairieaction supports the infrastructure of a network of researchers, service providers and policy makers across the three Prairie provinces. 

After completing high school in Davidson, Newall attended the Conservatory of Music at Regina College, an antecedent of the University of Regina, where she earned the Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto (A.R.C.T. Piano) in 1955. She taught music to finance her studies at the University of Saskatchewan, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts in 1958. Newall earned a teaching diploma from McGill University in 1972.

Newall taught elementary school and music. She supported her husband Ted's professional career and they raised three children. In every community in which they lived, Newall promoted action on community issues. In Quebec, she raised funds to set up the first library in the community and successfully lobbied the school boards to allow transfer of taxes so that her children could attend French school. In Alberta, she volunteered with the Alberta Coalition Against Pornography and helped found Prairieaction.

Many organizations have recognized Newall's philanthropy and community work with awards, including the Rotary Club of Calgary Paul Harris Fellowship Award (2003), the Arthur Kroeger Citizenship and Community Affairs Award (2004), and the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Foundation Award (2004). Newall has received honorary degrees from the University of Manitoba and the University of Calgary. She was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada earlier this year.