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Ryerson University to honour Phyllis Yaffe, Heather McGregor, Bonnie Schmidt and Louis Vachon, June 12-16

June 12, 2017

TORONTO, June 12, 2017 --- As part of this year’s spring convocation ceremonies, Ryerson University will recognize the distinguished careers of Phyllis Yaffe, Heather McGregor, Bonnie Schmidt and Louis Vachon with honorary doctorate degrees.   

Phyllis Yaffe - As Canada’s consul general in New York, Phyllis Yaffe has had a distinguished career in both the private and not-for-profit sectors. She began her career at Seneca College before becoming executive director of the Association of Canadian Publishers and ultimately CEO of Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. Yaffe served as chair of Ryerson University’s board of governors, and has been a member of various boards including Cineplex Entertainment, Lionsgate Entertainment, the Ontario Science Centre and the World Wildlife Fund. A member of the Order of Canada, Yaffe has been inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters’ Broadcast Hall of Fame.Yaffe will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Faculty of Communication and Design ceremony on Monday, June 12 at 2:30 p.m.

Heather McGregor - Heather McGregor has been CEO of YWCA Toronto for more than 20 years. She has led the organization’s dramatic growth, increased its financial sustainability and raised its profile in the community. She has also expanded its housing and employment programs and initiatives that support women and girls disadvantaged by multiple barriers. A member of the Order of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto, McGregor was a WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 award winner in 2010. She has also received the Constance E. Hamilton Award on the Status of Women for her work to secure the equitable treatment of women in Toronto, YWCA Canada’s Cleta Herman Award for her contributions to the YWCA movement and the Frances Lankin Community Service Award for her work in Toronto’s social service sector. McGregor will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education ceremony on Tuesday, June 13 at 6:00 p.m.

Bonnie Schmidt - Bonnie Schmidt is the founder and president of Let’s Talk Science, a national and award-winning charitable organization that she started in 1991 while completing a PhD in physiology. Let’s Talk Science helps children and youth fulfil their potential and prepare for their future careers and citizenship role by supporting their learning through science, technology, engineering and mathematics engagement. Schmidt is chair of the national leadership taskforce on education and skills for the Information and Communications Technology Council, as well as a member of the Governor General’s selection panel for the Meritorious Service Decoration, the MaRS Discovery District’s Studio Y national advisory panel and Pollution Probe’s Energy Exchange editorial board. Schmidt has received several honours during her career, including the Order of Canada, the Purvis Memorial Award from the Chemical Institute of Canada, the Community Service Award from Life Sciences Ontario and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Schmidt will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Faculty of Science ceremony on Wednesday, June 14 at 9:30 a.m.

Louis Vachon - Louis Vachon has been president and CEO of National Bank since 2007. Also a chartered financial analyst, Vachon began his career at Citibank in 1985, then worked in increasingly senior roles at Lévesque Beaubien Geoffrion, the Bankers Trust and its Canadian subsidiary BT Bank of Canada, and Innocap Investment Management. Vachon serves on the board of Molson Coors Brewing Company and the CH Group Inc., and is involved in a number of social and cultural organizations., He has also received the Order of Canada and the Global Citizens Award from the United Nations Association in Canada. In 2014, Vachon was named CEO of the Year by Canadian Business magazine, and for the second time in his career, was named Financial Personality of the Year by Finance et Investissement, a Quebec business publication. Vachon will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree at the Ted Rogers School of Business ceremony on Friday, June 16 at 9:30 a.m.

All ceremonies will take place at the Ryerson Theatre, 43 Gerrard St. E., Toronto, Ontario.

Seats are reserved for media. Media wishing to attend should contact Zandra Alexander, below.


WHAT:      Honorary degree presentations and Convocation

WHEN:      Phyllis Yaffe - Monday, June 12 at 2:30 p.m.  
                   Heather McGregor - Tuesday, June 13 at 6:00 p.m.
                   Bonnie Schmidt - Wednesday, June 14 at 9:30 a.m.
                   Louis Vachon - Friday, June 16 at 9:30 a.m.

WHERE:   Ryerson Theatre, 43 Gerrard St. E. Toronto



Zandra Alexander
Public Affairs, Ryerson University
Office: 416-979-5000 x 4282

If you require this in another format, please contact Ryerson University Public Affairs at 416-979-5000 x 7134.