Release Date: May 22, 2009
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Anne Luke, Connie Kaldor and Craig Oliver to receive honorary degrees at U of R spring convocation
Educator Anne Luke, singer/songwriter Connie Kaldor and television journalist Craig Oliver will receive honorary degrees at the University of Regina's 35th annual spring convocation June 3-5, 2009, at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina, beginning at 2:00 p.m. daily. The honorary degrees will be conferred by University Chancellor Dr. William F. Ready, Q.C.

As well, the Board of Governors Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Dr. Don Lee and the Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Teaching will be presented to Dr. Scott Thompson.

Anne Luke is a lifelong educator who founded the Regina Early Learning Centre in 1977. She taught in England before moving to Saskatchewan in 1969 and taught kindergarten in Regina from 1973 to 1977. Luke's vision was to equip children who face challenges to enter grade school on an equal footing with other children. She lobbied effectively for the Centre's long-term stability, while furthering her education at the University of Regina, where she earned degrees in Social Work and Education. Her extensive knowledge is sought regularly by government officials as well as academics and students. Luke has been a member of the Saskatchewan Council on the KidsFirst Management Committee since 2001. She was appointed to the Minister's Early Learning and Child Care Advisory Board (2005-2007); was a sessional lecturer with SUNTEP in 1995; President of the Welfare Rights Centre, committee member for the Merici Centre and Sofia House in the 1980s; and has facilitated numerous workshops and training sessions in child development and early childhood education. Luke will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Wednesday, June 3.

Connie Kaldor, an extraordinary singer/songwriter and one of Canada's premier concert performers, has performed around the world - in Beijing, New Delhi and Washington, as well as across Canada. She has a down-to-earth charm and wry humour and adds an element of theatricality to her live performances. Born in Regina SK, Kaldor's musical career started at an early age. She and her four siblings performed choral duties every Sunday at the local Lutheran church where her father was choirmaster. It was there that she developed her incredible vocal range singing the parts of the choir members who didn't show up. She has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards, including a JUNO Award and a U.S. Parents' Choice Award for Lullaby Berceuse, and a JUNO nomination for the Most Promising Female Vocalist for Moonlight Grocery. Kaldor will receive an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree on Thursday, June 4.

Craig Oliver, host of Question Period on CTV, is one of Canada's best known journalists. Oliver began his career in 1957 as an announcer/reporter with CBC Radio in Prince Rupert, B.C. In 1959 he moved to Regina as the legislative reporter for CBC Radio. During this time, he took night classes in history and English at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus. He moved to Winnipeg in 1965, and three years later moved back to Regina as a national reporter for CBC, at which time he continued his education at the Regina Campus. Oliver moved to Toronto in 1972, where he created and produced Canada AM for CTV. Three years later Oliver became a national parliamentary reporter for CTV in Ottawa. In 1981 he became bureau chief for CTV news in Washington before returning to Ottawa in 1987.  He has received two Gemini Awards, for best reporting on a story, and best reporter overall. Oliver won the Radio Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) President's Award in 1994, and the following year he was inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) Broadcast Hall of Fame.  Oliver will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on Friday, June 5.

The University of Regina has bestowed 167 previous honorary degrees. Recipients include former Saskatchewan premier Tommy Douglas (1978), artist Joe Fafard (1989), hockey great Gordie Howe (1997), The Princess Royal, Princess Anne (2004), entrepreneur Frederick Hill (2005), Regina symphony conductor Victor Sawa (2006), Olympic speed skating champion Catriona LeMay Doan (2007) and accomplished violinist and concertmaster Eduard Minevich (2008).

As well as the presentation of the honorary degrees, two awards will be presented for outstanding service to the University of Regina. The Board of Governors Distinguished Service Award is given to a person who has provided outstanding service to the University over many years and whose efforts have significantly enhanced the development and/or operations of the University. The Alumni Association Award  for Excellence in Teaching is presented to emphasize the importance of teaching and to recognize teaching excellence publicly.

Dr. Donald Lee is the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for a lifetime of service to the University of Regina. Lee was born in Midale, SK. and joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Regina as an associate professor in 1967. He was a professor from 1972 to 2002, and served as President of Luther College from 1986 to 1991. Lee has been a visiting professor during his sabbaticals at the University of Oslo, Norway, from 1973 to 1974; Stanford University in California, from 1979 to 1980; and the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill from 1995 to 1996 and in 2000. Lee served as chair of the joint Federal-Provincial Panel on Uranium Developments in Northern Saskatchewan from 1991 to 1998,  was co-chair of the faculty section of the University of Regina Vision 20/20 fund-raising campaign and has chaired or served as a member of various university committees. For decades, Lee has been an ambassador of the University of Regina within the community, the province and abroad. Lee will receive his award on Thursday, June 4.

Dr. Scott Thompson is the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Teaching. Thompson, who teaches in the Faculty of Education, specializes in inclusive education and educational psychology. He has a passion for working effectively and inclusively with students with developmental disabilities. He has trained teachers how to work with autistic children and children with other special needs, how to work with children with developmental disabilities, and how to manage and support difference and diversity in schools. When the Ministry of Education required a new certificate program in inclusive education, to upgrade the qualifications of practicing teachers, they turned to Thompson for guidance in outlining the course requirements and establishing the content of those courses. Thompson is well-respected by his students, peers and supervisors. Thompson will receive his award on Friday, June 5.