Release Date: May 27, 2005
Media Contact: Colleen Dundas, External Relations
Phone: (306) 337-2413
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U of R honours nine in Centennial Year spring convocation
The University of Regina will confer honorary degrees on nine recipients at spring convocation this year, Saskatchewan's Centennial Year. The extraordinary number of degrees recognizes the accomplishments and contributions of a wide cross-section of Saskatchewan people. The University will confer the honorary degrees at convocation ceremonies June 1-3 at the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts.

Rev. Stanley Cuthand
2 p.m., June 1 Convocation

Rev. Stanley Cuthand, an internationally respected Saskatchewan teacher, translator and minister and a member of the Little Pine Band, will receive a doctor of laws (honoris causa) on June 1.

Cuthand attended Little Pine Day School, Prince Albert Collegiate, and graduated with a L.Th. (Theology) from Emanuel College in Saskatoon. He was ordained an Anglican priest, and went on to serve missions in Saskatchewan and Alberta. Cuthand helped the provincial government re-establish a provincial Indian organization, now the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.

Cuthand was passionate about teaching and preserving native culture and language. He was one of the first to develop Cree language curricula in Alberta and for the University of Regina, and he translated the School Act, the Constitution Act, and the Elections Act from English to Cree - all important documents to the Cree people. He has also translated selections of the Old Testament and other documents into Cree for the Canadian Bible Society.

Cuthand has been a freelance journalist in Cree, co-hosted North Country Fair for the U of R and the CBC, and collaborated on a CBC Radio Ideas documentary exploring stereotypes of Indians. He has studied and lectured internationally and remains active in teaching and translation.

Courtney Milne
2 p.m., June 1 Convocation

Courtney Milne, an internationally celebrated landscape photographer, will receive a doctor of laws (honoris causa) on June 1. 

Born in Saskatoon, Milne earned a master's degree in psychology and in journalism and mass communication. He has conducted workshops and worldwide photographic tours, presented public performances of his multi-media shows, and has authored illustrated articles for photographic magazines.

Milne has several books to his credit. The first series highlights the Canadian Prairies. Later books feature photographs of sacred places throughout the world and Saskatchewan. His extensive slide library has been the basis for several international presentations, including UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, Waterscapes International Congress, and the United Nations traveling exhibit, To Care for the Earth. He developed The Sacred Earth Concert, a multimedia presentation that raised money for environmental projects, was showcased at the UN Earth Summit in 1992, and was presented at Tokyo's Metropolitan Museum of Photography. 

Milne received the Gold Medal for Distinction in Photography from the Canadian Association for Photographic Art and the Agfa Special Achievement Award in Photography twice. In 2004, the Saskatchewan Craft Council nominated him for a Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts.

Milne has donated prints to galleries and museums in Canada and has donated 5,000 of his best Saskatchewan images for an online achive for schools.

Ann Phillips, Q.C.
2 p.m., June 1 Convocation

Ann Phillips, a respected senior Regina lawyer and patron of the arts in southern Saskatchewan, will receive a doctor of laws (honoris causa) on June 1.

Through her philanthropy and volunteer work, Phillips has advanced a wide variety of cultural organizations over the last 20 years. Phillips has applied her legal expertise to helping organizations create a solid legal foundation. 

She helped the MacKenzie Art Gallery to become an independent, community-based gallery, drafting the bylaws and raising capital funds nationally. A founding member of Opera Saskatchewan, Phillips' contributions to it have helped to secure the viability of professional opera in the province. Phillips was also an early member of the Saskatchewan Book Awards, and worked to ensure that it became an outstanding event. The Regina Philharmonic Chorus and the Regina Symphony Orchestra are also beneficiaries of Phillips' volunteer work.

Having moved to Saskatchewan with her husband Roger Phillips in 1982, Ann Phillips adopted the province as her own. She was educated at McGill University and the University of Toronto, winning academic awards at both. Phillips has specialized in civil litigation, insurance law, and intellectual property law; has published and lectured in all of these areas; and serves as chair of the Saskatchewan Automobile Injuries Appeal Commission. SaskCulture presented Phillips with the Volunteer Award for Culture in 2004.

Frederick W. Hill, D.F.C. (U.S.), C.M., S.O.M.
2 p.m., June 2 Convocation

Frederick W. Hill, who has contributed to his community through decades of entrepreneurship, faith and service, will receive a doctor of laws (honoris causa) on June 2.

Born in Regina, Hill attended Lakeview Public School and Campion High School. He earned a BA degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a master of business administration at the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.

One of Saskatchewan's most successful businessmen, Hill founded Western Surety Company in 1950 and developed the Hillsdale, Normanview and Westhill subdivisions in Regina. His company redeveloped downtown Regina with the city's five largest office towers, he owned CKCK TV for 10 years and currently owns three radio stations. In recognition of his education at Harvard, Hill used this name for several of his companies and serves as chairman of Harvard Developments Inc., Harvard Oil & Gas Inc., and Harvard Broadcasting.

Hill served as president and chancellor of Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in Wilcox and is a director of the Catholic Civil Rights League. He is also a trustee of the Hudson Institute and a director of the Ethics and Public Policy Centre, both in Washington, D.C.

Hill was a B-17 Fortress bomber pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force in the Second World War. He also served on Regina city council and other corporate and non-profit boards.

Among Hill's many awards are the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, Canada 125 Medal, Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, and the Cross of Merit of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Hill is also a Member of the Order of Canada (1986).

Edith Wiens, O.C.
2 p.m., June 2 Convocation

Edith Wiens, an international concert and operatic performer of the highest order and a professor of voice in Munich, will receive a doctor of laws (honoris causa) on June 2.

Born in Saskatoon and raised in Vancouver, Wiens won many awards at festivals as a young performer. Wiens has developed a vast and varied repertoire, collaborating with some of the world's foremost conductors, including Daniel Barenboim, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, Sir Neville Marriner, Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Wolfgang Sawallisch, and Sir Georg Solti. She has performed with notable orchestras in Europe and North America and has performed at festivals worldwide. Her operatic appearances include principal Mozart roles at Glyndebourne, La Scala, the Santa Fe Opera, Amsterdam Opera, Tokyo, and Buenos Aires' Teatro Colon.

Renowned as a lieder singer of the highest order, Wiens has given recitals world wide and has been invited repeatedly to Vienna's Musikverein.

A recipient of both the Grammy and Diapason d'Or Awards, Wiens is well represented on the EMI, Erato and Philips labels. Four much-praised CDs were recently issued with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

Wiens is an Officer of the Order of Canada and has received an honorary doctorate from Oberlin College, where she earned an MA. She is a jury member of international competitions and regularly holds master classes in Europe and North America. She is professor of voice at the Hochschule für Musik in Augsburg and at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Munich. 

Gary Hyland
2 p.m., June 2 Convocation

Gary Hyland, author, teacher and founder of literary organizations, will receive an honorary doctor of literature on June 2.

A native of Moose Jaw, Hyland has added to the richness of Saskatchewan's cultural heritage in word and in deed. He has studied and taught literature, written poetry, published prairie authors, mentored other writers, and founded innovative arts and literary organizations.

Hyland completed his early education in Moose Jaw, then earned BA and BEd degrees at the University of Saskatchewan. He taught English in Moose Jaw for 30 years. He taught writing at the local community college and in the summer at the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts, the Prairie Winds Writers' Conference in South Dakota and the Teachers' Summer Institute in Barbados.

Hyland won prestigious teaching awards during his career, including a national Hilroy Fellowship for innovative teaching in 1974 and the Marshall McLuhan Distinguished Teacher National Award in 1991.

As a volunteer, Hyland was a founding member of the following organizations and served them in various executive capacities: CJUS-FM Radio, Sage Hill Writing Experience, ArtSchool Saskatchewan, Living Skies Festival of Words Inc., Moose Jaw Arts in Motion, Great Plains School of the Arts, the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre Builders and the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre Board, CineView Saskatchewan, CC Theatre Productions, LiveMusicCity, the Prairie Arts Festival, Opportunities for Creative Development Symposium, and the Common Ground Valley Project. He has also served on other boards and volunteers in other domains.

Hyland was a founding member and director of Thunder Creek Publishing/Coteau Books, an enterprise that has become synonymous with high quality prairie literature. He has published seven volumes of his own poetry.

Hyland has received the first Lieutenant Governor's Arts Award for Leadership (2004), the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal (2002), and Moose Jaw Citizen of the Year (1998). He will be inducted into the Order of Canada later this year.

Jean L. Okimāsis
2 p.m., June 3 Convocation

Jean Okimāsis, one of the foremost Aboriginal language educators in Canada and champion of the preservation of the Cree language, will receive a doctor of laws (honoris causa) on June 3.

Born on the White Bear Reserve, Okimāsis completed high school in Lebret and raised a farm family before returning to post-secondary studies. While studying at the University of Regina, she found a new pride in her first language, Cree, and discovered her remarkable aptitude for teaching it. She graduated with a BA in 1981 and the next year, began teaching at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (now the First Nations University of Canada). 

As the first head of the department of Indian Languages, Okimāsis was instrumental in the creation of the first and only full degree program in First Nations languages (Cree, Ojibway, and General Linguistics) in Canada.

Okimāsis is responsible for extensive curricula, publications, presentations, and translation work. One of her most significant contributions may be as the inspiration for and an editor of nêhiyawêwin: itwêwina / Cree: Words, a Cree-to-English and English-to-Cree dictionary compiled by her husband and professor, Arok Wolvengrey.

Joseph Pettick
2 p.m., June 3 Convocation

Joseph Pettick, one of Regina's pre-eminent architects and contributors to Regina's environment, will receive a doctor of laws (honoris causa) on June 3.

Pettick emigrated to Saskatchewan from Hungary with his parents in 1927. During the Second World War, he worked as a draftsman at a local munitions plant and later joined the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve. Pettick served as chief draftsman with Portnall and Stock Architects in Regina while completing high school and university equivalent architectural studies during the evenings. He became a registered architect in 1954.

Pettick attended the University of Oklahoma and studied structural and mechanical engineering under Mendel Glickman, a collaborator with architect Frank Lloyd Wright. 

Several opportunities opened up to Pettick in the U.S. and South America, but he chose to return to Saskatchewan. He founded Joseph Pettick Architect in 1956, and over the last half-century has been responsible for some of Saskatchewan's most distinctive buildings, including the SaskPower head office building, Regina City Hall, the SGI head office building, the Bank of Montreal building, the Moose Jaw Civic Centre, and the Treaty Four Governance Centre in Fort Qu'Appelle.

A senior partner with P3 Architecture (formerly Pettick Phillips Partners Architects), Pettick has been president of the Saskatchewan Association of Architects, represented the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada at the International Union of Architects, and chaired the Saskatchewan Design Council, the Civic Committee of the Regina Chamber of Commerce, and the Regina Housing Authority. He has won several architectural awards, and holds life membership in both the Saskatchewan Association of Architects and the Regina Construction Association.

Geoffrey L. Pawson, O.C., S.O.M.
2 p.m., June 3 Convocation

Geoffrey Pawson, who has contributed to the well-being of children and families within and beyond the province, will receive a doctor of laws (honoris causa) on June 3.

Pawson earned a BSc from the University of Alberta, but soon found his calling in social work. He completed undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work at the University of British Columbia, and later earned a doctor of social work degree at the University of Southern California (Los Angeles).

After working in the field, Pawson saw a need for a more comprehensive approach to child welfare. In 1966, he founded the Ranch Ehrlo Society to provide residential care, education, and treatment for seriously troubled children, adolescents, and young adults. Beginning with a clientele of six boys and a staff of 20 to cover the 24-hour-a-day program, the agency now serves more than 200 male and female residents and 20 day students with a staff of over 400. In 1995, Pawson founded the Ehrlo Community Service, which provides housing for low-income people, recreation for inner-city youth, and counseling services for children and families.

Pawson has contributed to the profession of social work in myriad ways. He is a founding director of the Child Welfare League of Canada and currently serves as its past president. He served as president of the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers for five years and has won the Distinguished Service Award from both the Saskatchewan Association of Social Workers (1996) and the Canadian Association of Social Workers (1998). Pawson has served as president of the Saskatchewan Council on Children and Youth and on the executive of the Canadian Council on Children and Youth. He has also been active in the Child Welfare League of America, has taught in the University of Regina's Faculty of Social Work and for the RCMP, and has been a peer reviewer for child welfare service accreditations.

Pawson has been awarded the Order of Canada (2000), the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (2001), the Canada 125 Medal (1992), the Queen's Jubilee Medal (2002), and the Family Service Canada Award (2002).