Nov. 15, 2019

Class of 2019: Supreme Court justice and energy leader awarded honorary degrees

University veterinarian and community advocate recognized with Order of the University of Calgary
Being honoured this fall, from left: Sheilah Martin, Douglas Morck, Dawn Farrell, Mavis Ann Clark.

Being honoured this fall, from left: Sheilah Martin, Douglas Morck, Dawn Farrell, Mavis Ann Clark.

The University of Calgary recognizes, as part of convocation, a number of exemplary individuals with honorary degrees and Orders of the University of Calgary. The honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, is the University of Calgary’s highest academic honour, bestowed upon individuals whose notable achievements and community service merit recognition. The Order of the University of Calgary is a highly prestigious recognition honouring UCalgary community members who have contributed in an impactful manner to the university over a period of time.

Honourable Madam Justice Sheilah L. Martin will have the honorary degree conferred upon her at the morning convocation ceremony for the Cumming School of Medicine, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape and the Faculties of Law, Nursing, Science, Veterinary Medicine, Haskayne School of Business, Schulich School of Engineering, and Graduate Studies. Dr. Douglas W. Morck, PhD, will be conferred with the Order of the University of Calgary.

Dawn Lorraine Farrell will have the honorary degree conferred upon her at the afternoon convocation ceremony for the Faculties of Arts, Social Work, Werklund School of Education, and Graduate Studies. Mavis Ann Clark will be conferred with the Order of the University of Calgary.

These distinguished individuals will address our graduating class during the November convocation ceremonies today, sharing words of wisdom gained through their experience as leaders in their field.

Supreme Court Justice

Justice Sheilah L. Martin has worked as an educator, lawyer and judge. Martin worked as a researcher and law professor at the University of Calgary, and from 1991 to 1996 served as dean of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law. From 1996 to 2005, Martin practised criminal and constitutional litigation in Calgary, addressing issues of deep significance to Canadian society. She acted pro bono for the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund and the Alberta Association of Sexual Assault Centres in cases before the Supreme Court of Canada. She also acted as counsel for the Assembly of First Nations, contributing to the approach that led to the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement.

Her lifelong commitment to education is also demonstrated by her work with a variety of organizations on equality issues and judicial education programming. She was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada on Dec. 18, 2017.

UCalgary alumna and energy leader

UCalgary alumna Dawn Farrell, BComm‘83, MA’85, is an accomplished energy leader with more than 30 years of experience in the electricity industry. Farrell is the president and chief executive officer of TransAlta, where she is looking at energy of the future. In her role, she has responsibility for the overall stewardship of TransAlta, providing strategic leadership to help transform TransAlta into Canada’s leading clean energy company. Before this, she held various leadership positions at TransAlta and B.C. Hydro.

Farrell is a strong advocate for Canadian business and women in business, as well as a dedicated Calgary community member. She was co-chair of the 2013 United Way campaign, which raised a record-setting level of funds for those less fortunate in the city.

Head university veterinarian and cornerstone of animal care

UCalgary alumnus Dr. Douglas W. Morck, BSc‘83, PhD’91, is a professor, scientist, teacher, veterinarian, and advocate for animals.

Morck joined the University of Calgary as a veterinarian and adjunct assistant professor, before becoming the university veterinarian in 2003 and full professor in 2005. He is currently a professor in the Faculty of Science, with a joint academic appointment in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

In Morck’s career, he has served with the University of Calgary Animal Care Program, striving for best practices, animal welfare, and a campus culture of respect for animal life. In addition to an active research program on bacterial biofilms and publishing more than 100 peer-reviewed scientific manuscripts, Morck teaches in the veterinary program, mentors graduate students, serves on all University of Calgary animal welfare and ethics committees, providing leadership in the animal care program.

Passionate educator, and committed volunteer

UCalgary alumna and former university senator Mavis Clark, BEd, MEd’82, is a dedicated champion focused on changing the narrative about lung cancer.

As an educator for 30 years with the Calgary Board of Education, she held a variety of positions, from classroom teacher to superintendent of human services, where the education of all children was at the centre of her career.

Over the last nine years, Clark has become a recognized cancer advocate, bringing needed attention to the stigma associated with lung cancer and its survival outcomes. As a community member, Clark has held board positions with a number of organizations, particularly those focused on women and families, including Homefront Calgary, Prairie Action Foundation and the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter. She has been a member of the university’s Chancellor’s Club and was elected to Senate in 2012. During her two terms, she worked diligently to increase the number of scholarships available to aspiring students.

Nominations for honorary degree and Order of the University of Calgary recipients are open year-round. Nomination forms and other important information are available on the Senate website