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Old 06-07-2015, 07:22 PM   #11
Join Date: May 2000
Posts: 15,586
Default Re: Doctorate of Music for LIGHTFOOT

ORILLIA - He's one of the most decorated musicians in Canadian history.

He's got 16 Juno Awards and five Grammy nominations to his name.

He's been recognized by the Canadian government, by the Governor General and inducted into more than one hall of fame as a pioneer songwriter in the folk-rock genre.

But Saturday morning, Lakehead University bestowed upon Gordon Lightfoot in his hometown of Orillia something that was new to him – an honorary doctorate of music.

“This is the first time anyone's presented me with doctorate of music,” Lightfoot, conferred in the past with doctorates of laws and human letters by other institutions, told the crowd gathered at Rotary Place for convocation.

While the academic robe draped around his shoulder wasn't his usual attire, Lightfoot looked immediately more himself as he picked up his guitar to perform his '80s hit I'll Tag Along, a song of perseverance and support, to his captivated audience.

Lakehead tries to inspire in its students drive, determination and passion to succeed that Gordon Lightfoot had, Kim Fedderson, principal of the Orillia campus, said.

“He truly represents the vision we have for our university,” Fedderson said.

Lakehead, based in Thunder Bay, opened the doors of a satellite at Heritage Place in 2006. The charter class had 104 students.

Saturday morning, more than three times as many walked across the stage to accept degrees.

During convocation, Lakehead recognized two members of the community who helped make that possible.

Local developer and former Orillia mayor Angelo Orsi was named a fellow.

“I had to look up what fellow meant,” Orsi told The Packet & Times before the ceremony began.

He was only half-joking. Being a fellow has different connotations, depending on the school and circumstances.

Orsi, who became involved in Lakehead's expansion to Orillia early in planning stages as a donor and adviser, was honoured for his contribution to the university at large.

He provided input and influenced the energy and environmental designs of the buildings that opened between 2010 and 2012 on University Avenue, for which Lakehead has been feted.

“I'm just a small piece of the puzzle. There are so many people part of it,” Orsi said.

Including former Orillia economic development manager Robert Lamb, who received the Civitas Award for his contribution locally.

He was a member of the task force that conceptualized and lobbied for the satellite campus and led negotiations.

Lamb is the first in his family to be recognized on Lakehead's Orillia stage, but he won't be the last.

Next year, his daughter will be graduating.

“I'll get to watch her walk across,” Lamb said, told The Packet & Times, his voiced filled with pride.

“(It's) a reminder of why it was so important,” he said of establishing the campus.

Liz Breton, who gave the convocation address to her fellow graduating classmates with Anna Lisa Martin, received both the President's Award and Lloyd Dennis Award for outstanding citizenship and leadesrhip.

Karin Wargel received the Chancellor's Medal as the highest-ranking part-time undergraduate student.

Jenny Thomas and Leah Catton received Orillia Campus Dean's Medals as the highest-ranking arts and science degree students.

Catton also received the Dean's Medal for highest standing in interdisciplinary studies while Carly Chantler received the Dean's Medal for the highest standing in sustainability sciences.

Rebecca Hamilton- Bachiu received the William A. West Medal for highest standing in the education program.

Youtube video by James Arlen
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