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Old 04-15-2015, 05:52 PM   #1
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Default LAKEHEAD UNIV.- Doctorate of Music for LIGHTFOOT

Lightfoot getting honorary doctorate from Lakehead University

By Roberta Bell, Orillia Packet & Times
Wednesday, April 15, 2015 2:59:57 EDT PM

Orillia-born, Canadian-music legend Gordon Lightfoot is to receive an honorary degree from Lakehead University.

“For us, it's really a dream come true,” said Kim Fedderson, dean of the Orillia campus, of the chance to confer Lightfoot with a doctorate of music.

The presentation will take place June 6 at Rotary Place during Lakehead's local convocation ceremony.

Fedderson said it's something university has long hoped to have happened, especially since the Orillia campus opened in 2006.

“It's been a goal of ours,” Fedderson said.

The presentation will take place June 6 at Rotary Place during Lakehead Univesrity's Orillia campus convocation ceremony.

Decisions on honorary degrees are made by the university's senate, to which people are invited to submit suggestions.

“They're typically well-known and distinguished citizens,” Fedderson said of those to whom the degrees are awarded.

“Gordon Lightfoot is... one of the most distinguished Orillians there has ever been,” Fedderson said.

Lightfoot is not the first to receive an honorary doctorate of music from Lakehead. The university has also conferred them on other Canadian singer-songwriters, including Buffy Ste. Marie and Neil Young.

Lakehead will be recognizing two other prominent Orillians: Angelo Orsi as a Fellow and Robert Lamb with the Civitas Award.

Fellows are Fellows of the entire university. They are recognized based on their contribution to Lakehead at large.

Orsi, a developer, was mayor of the city between 2010 and 2014, but his contribution to the university predates that, Fedderson said.

Orsi was a driving force behind Lakehead's expansion from downtown Orillia to University Avenue.

Naming Orsi, who continues to be a “strong supporter,” was “natural,” Fedderson said.

Recipients of the Civitas Award are local citizens who have made a significant contribution to the Orillia campus.

“Robert Lamb has fulfilled that,” Fedderson said.

Lamb, the city's former manager of economic development, was not only a member of the task force that conceptualized and lobbied for Lakehead's satellite campus, he was the lead negotiator.

Honorary Doctorate – Gordon Lightfoot

Gordon Lightfoot is an indelible part of the Canadian national spirit and regarded as perhaps the most prolific and greatest Canadian singer-songwriter of all time.

Born and raised in Orillia, Lightfoot made his performing debut at St. Paul’s United Church at the age of five. He went on to achieve international status as one of the most prolific and successful singer-songwriters of all time.

This year Lightfoot celebrates 50 years of hit song making and international recording success. He has recorded 20 albums, has five Grammy nominations and 17 Juno Awards. In 2012, he was honoured for his role in defining the folk-pop sound of the 1960s and ‘70s with his induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The music of Gordon Lightfoot has had a powerful impact, with many of his songs recorded and performed by some of the world’s most renowned recording artists including Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley and Barbra Streisand.

In Canada, Lightfoot has been decorated with the Governor General’s Award and the Companion to the Order of Canada Honour of Merit. He is a member of Canada’s Walk of Fame, The Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame.

Described as a national treasure, Gordon Lightfoot is a cultural icon whose time-defying style and legendary hits have made him one of Canada’s most anticipated live performers. His classics, such as Canadian Railroad Trilogy and The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald have contributed to, and captured, the Canadian spirit.
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