U of G Honours Social Entrepreneur and Women’s Historian at Fall Convocation


Nearly 1,000 graduands will cross the stage this month during fall convocation ceremonies at the University of Guelph.

Ceremonies will take place Monday, Oct. 15 at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre as follows:

  • College of Business and Economics, 10 a.m.
  • College of Biological Science, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Ontario Agricultural College, 1 p.m.
  • College of Arts, College of Social and Applied Human Sciences, Ontario Veterinary College, 4 p.m.

Honorary degrees will be conferred upon Gavin Bate, a social entrepreneur, mountaineer and educator; and University of British Columbia professor Veronica Strong-Boag, Canada’s first and most influential professional historian of women.

Bate founded the social enterprise company Adventure Alternative to reconcile profit with poverty reduction, capitalism with compassion and corporate responsibility with community ownership. His company’s charitable arm, Moving Mountains, has helped to build schools, medical clinics and other infrastructure in villages in Asia and East Africa. He received the 2016 Point of Light award from U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.

Bate also developed a field course in Nepal with U of G’s School of Hospitality, Food and Tourism Management.

Strong-Boag has researched the history of Canadian women and children, foster care and adoption, and has brought her findings to academic and general audiences through award-winning textbooks, public presentations and media appearances. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a recipient of the Tyrrell Medal in Canadian history and a former president of the Canadian History Association.

Also, a U of G faculty member will be named University Professor Emerita at fall convocation.

Prof. Nonita Yap, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, will be posthumously named as University Professor Emerita. A highly respected scholar, Yap enjoyed a long and distinguished career in planning development and sustainability. She was globally renowned for her ability to bridge research, action and policy with national and international agencies, including the United Nations Environment Program, the World Bank and the Canadian International Development Agency.

She worked to promote environmental security, social equity and mainstreaming of women in science and technology in Africa, the Middle East, and Central and South America. Yap influenced policy from women’s health and pollution prevention to environmental assessment of trade agreements.

She served two terms as a U of G senator.

All ceremonies may be viewed live online on the U of G website.