Honorary degree nominations sought

The University of Lethbridge Senate is seeking nominees for its 2011 and 2012 honorary degree awards, and is appealing to southern Alberta community groups to nominate individuals who have made a local, regional or worldwide impact on society.

"Our Honorary Degree recipients reflect not only excellent service to our community, but are also people who inspire others to make a difference," says U of L Senate member Elisha Rasmussen, a member the committee that co-ordinates the selection process. "The people we choose become part of the U of L family and participate actively in the life of the University."

What does receiving an honorary degree mean to the recipients, whose life experiences have varied from surviving the Holocaust during World War II to entertaining and affecting thousands of people as an award-winning musician and humanitarian?

"Receiving my honorary degree from the University of Lethbridge in 2006 meant a great deal to me," says Holocaust survivor and award-winning author Dr. Chava Rosenfarb.

"Not only was this the first university degree that I ever received, but it also represented a recognition of my lifelong work as a writer in Canada. I also considered the degree as a tribute to the language in which I have written all my works - Yiddish, a language that was as much a victim of the Holocaust as its speakers."

Passionate Albertan Paul Brandt, a former nurse and now a high-profile Canadian country music artist, says his honorary degree has helped to validate his work as an artist.

"Receiving an honorary degree from an institution as reputable and relevant as the U of L came as a real feeling of validation to me," says Brandt.

"I'm currently working on new music to be released mid 2011, and it has put me in a bit of a reflective mood. I've spent a great deal of my life honing my craft, working to influence and entertain people through art, and being recognized with an honorary degree in Fine Arts made me feel like some of that work has been recognized in a context even larger than the world stage. It's nice to see your name in lights, but to know that it's leaving a legacy is a wonderful feeling."

To be eligible for the 2011 and 2012 Convocations, nominations must be received by Nov. 30 at the University Senate Office, 4401 University Drive, Lethbridge, Alta. T1K 3M4. To obtain a nomination form, please call the Senate Office at 403-329-2482.

Recipients are selected by the University of Lethbridge Senate from nominees provided by members of the general public and the University community. The Senate is empowered to confer honorary degrees by the Universities Act of Alberta. Additional information is available at the Senate website: