The Gleaner, North American July 07 - Aug 06, 2022

THE MONTHLY GLEANER | JULY 7 - AUGUST 6, 2022 | | NEWS 4 Neil Armstrong/Contributor THREE OF Canada’s leading universities have conferred honorary degrees on five well-known Jamaican Canadians – Jamaica’s poet laureate Olive Senior by York University; entrepreneur and philanthropist B. Denham Jolly; healthcare pioneer Camille Orridge by the University of Toronto; entrepreneur and business leader Wayne Purboo and former Canadian citizenship court judge Pamela Appelt by McMaster University. Senior was among 12 individuals recognised for their outstanding contributions to community building, social justice, mental health advocacy and Indigenous rights at the spring convocation. “The individuals we are celebrating with honorary degrees represent the best of what York University stands for – our commitment to enhancing the well-being of the communities we serve – toward reconciliation, human rights, social justice, and more,” said Rhonda Lenton, president and vice chancellor of York University. Lenton added: “Their remarkable accomplishments serve as inspiration for York’s newest graduates and for all of us.” “Senior is an award-winning Canadian writer and public intellectual of Jamaican heritage. Her work has been translated into multiple languages, and her Encyclopedia of Jamaican Heritage is a widely read and cited reference text,” the university noted separately. In her commencement address, Senior told the graduates that she grew up in a mountain village in Jamaica. “I didn’t get many presents. But I had one gift – the gift that all children are born with – but which many, unfortunately, lose along the way. That is, the gift of curiosity.” She said curiosity sometimes has a negative connotation, but hers was curiosity of the positive and constructive kind – an attribute that is innate. “I feel fortunate now to have retained that sense of wonder that has kept me continuously asking questions and seeking answers. I can say, unequivocally, that curiosity is the engine that has driven my life and the work for which I am being honoured today,” she stated. Senior’s many awards include Canada’s Writers Trust Matt Cohen Award for Lifetime Achievement, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the CommonwealthWriters Prize, an honorary doctorate fromThe University of the West Indies and the Gold Medal of the Institute of Jamaica. Jolly, a radio pioneer and champion of social justice, was awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the University of Toronto for his leadership in promoting equity, social justice and opportunity in Toronto. In his address, Jolly, who moved to Canada in 1955 to pursue a science degree at McGill University inMontreal, Quebec, said he left Jamaica at the age of 20 for study at the university and graduated in 1960. Five well-known Jamaicans receive honorary degrees in Toronto SENIOR ORRIDGE JOLLY PLEASE SEE DEGREE, 5