By: Laura Steiner
OCAD University has announced five honorary doctorates as part of plans for its June, 2021 Virtual convocation ceremonies.
“The accomplishments of these amazing individuals reflect the breadth of OCAD University’s academic mission and our values of equity, diversity, and decolonization,” OCAD President and Vice Chancellor Ana Serrano said. The recipients are:
- Shary Boyle: An acclaimed multidisciplinary artist based in Toronto, Boyle works across diverse media, including sculpture, drawing, installation and performance. She is known for her bold, fantastical explorations of the figure. Highly crafted and deeply imaginative, her practice is activated through collaboration, volunteerism and apprenticeship.
- Ruth Cuthand: A recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, this mixed media artist of Plains Cree and Scottish ancestry is based in Saskatoon and is a well-known and leading figure in contemporary Indigenous art as well as a powerful voice in the Canadian art scene’s ongoing discussions of colonialism, racism and reconciliation.
- Nalo Hopkinson: An internationally acclaimed science fiction author and Professor of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, her writing highlights themes of Afro-Caribbean culture and Caribbean folklore and addresses issues of race, class, feminism and sexuality. She is the first Black woman to receive the prestigious Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award, a lifetime achievement award given annually by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.
- Ellis Jacob: Appointed to both the Order of Canada and Order of Ontario, Jacob is President and CEO of Cineplex. He is an award-winning and innovative leader who has transformed the movie-going experience for Canadians during his more than 33-year legacy in the entertainment industry.
- Zainub Verjee: Executive Director of Galeries Ontario/Ontario Galleries, with a formidable reputation as an artist, writer, critic, cultural administrator and public intellectual, Verjee is a persuasive champion of arts as public good. She has tenaciously advocated for racial-equity, cultural diplomacy and pluralism, and to recognize the centrality of the role of art and cultural institutions in our society. She is the laureate of 2020 Governor General’s Visual and Media Arts Award for Outstanding Contribution and a McLaughlin College Fellow at York University.
The ceremonies will celebrate 900 graduands, and include the presentation of the Governor General’s Academic Silver and Gold Awards.