2012 Honorary Degree recipients

The 2012 Honorary Degree Recipients


Jim Coutts has made significant contributions to Canada, through his public service, conservation efforts and philanthropy, and to the University of Lethbridge, to which his donations include over 200 pieces for the Art Gallery and a homestead property near Nanton, Alta.

Coutts has had a fruitful career in law, business and public service, and served as Secretary to the Prime Minister of Canada, Lester B. Pearson in 1963. He was also the Principal Secretary to Pierre Trudeau during his tenure as Prime Minister, spending six years in this role.

In 2011, Coutts donated to the U of L the land homesteaded by his grandfather, near Nanton. This land brings a major opportunity for the University to develop its programming and community connections.


One of the founders of modern molecular biology, Patrick O'Farrell introduced technical innovations that revolutionized the study of proteins and made the use of proteins in medical diagnostics possible.

In 1969, while a graduate student pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry in Colorado, O'Farrell thought of using separations in two dimensions to resolve complex mixtures of proteins on electrophoretic gels. While his goal was to follow molecular events during the embryogenesis of the particular alga that he was studying, the 2-D gel electrophoresis technique that he developed could be applied to protein mixtures from any source. While still a student he prepared a paper describing this method. This paper is now the sixth most cited paper in biology and chemistry.


The 11th Chancellor of the University of Lethbridge, Richard Davidson represented the institution with pride, emphasizing its connections with the community.

Davidson's first formal appointment with the U of L was with the University Senate in 1983. He served as a University Senator for two terms (eight years), becoming the University's Chancellor in 2007, a position he held until 2011. During this time he tirelessly and proudly represented the institution, presiding over many Convocation ceremonies.

Davidson has also been a valuable community volunteer, working for several organizations and supporting many charitable causes. As a volunteer he has worked for, among others, the Chamber of Commerce, the Community Foundation, the Kinsmen Club of Lethbridge, the Regional Hospital Foundation, and the United Way. In 2010, he was recognized by the local Rotary Club as the Lethbridge Citizen of the Year and was named by Alberta Venture as one of the 50 most influential people in the province.


A respected Blood Tribe Elder, Pete Standing Alone is a teacher, cultural guide and leader who has been an integral part of the U of L's commitment to Aboriginal education.

He is committed to maintaining and promoting the traditions of his people, and has served as a cultural advisor to several organizations and to Red Crow Community College. At the U of L, Standing Alone has led the opening ceremonies of Native Awareness Week for several years. He is consulted by the Blackfoot people on all aspects of traditional and contemporary Blackfoot culture, including ceremonies, sacred societies, protocol, education, history and social and cultural issues.

A traditional Blackfoot Knowledge Keeper and educator for over 50 years, Standing Alone continues to devote his time and energy to his community and to serving as a role model for others.

This story first appeared in the May issue of the Legend. For a look at the full issue in a flipbook format, follow this link.