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Dr. Bonnie Henry, Greta Thunberg to receive respective honorary degrees from UBC, UBCO

According to UBC, Dr. Bonnie Henry, left, will receive a doctor of science degree from UBC, while Greta Thunberg will receive doctor of laws degree from UBCO. The Canadian Press

Two British Columbia universities will be handing out honorary degrees to two well-known individuals this year.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry will receive an honorary doctor of science degree from UBC, while three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree from UBC Okanagan.

According to UBC, the honorary degrees will be handed out this spring.

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Notably, Henry and Thunberg won’t be the only ones receiving honorary degrees from the two post-secondary institutions; in all, 18 will be recognized, though they’re by far the most famous of this year’s honorary degree recipients.

“I am delighted to bestow honorary degrees on Dr. Henry and Ms. Thunberg, along with all of our remarkable recipients this spring,” UBC president and vice-chancellor Santa J. Ono said in a press release.

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“Dr. Henry and Ms. Thunberg have served as leading voices in the midst of two of the most significant crises we collectively have ever faced: the global pandemic and climate change.”

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B.C. officials announce new ‘circuit breaker’ restrictions to curb spread of COVID-19 transmission – Mar 29, 2021

“Our honorary degree recipients are a remarkable group of people that are making a difference in their communities both globally and locally,” added UBC Okanagan principal and deputy vice-chancellor Lesley Cormack.

“It’s an honour to have Dr. Henry and Ms. Thunberg together, with all 18 recipients this year, join the UBC community.”

According to UBC, Thunberg is receiving her honorary degree for “her international recognitions for challenging world leaders to take immediate action against climate change. The 18-year-old has sparked activism across the globe, which has allowed her to receive a doctor of laws award.”

Click to play video: 'Activist Greta Thunberg participates in Vancouver climate strike' Activist Greta Thunberg participates in Vancouver climate strike
Activist Greta Thunberg participates in Vancouver climate strike – Oct 25, 2019

Henry is being awarded a doctors of science award for being the “calm assured face of the COVID-19 pandemic response in B.C.”

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UBC also noted “her specialized work in public health and preventive medicine also includes critical international initiatives such as the WHO/UNICEF polio eradication program in Pakistan and the World Health Organization’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Uganda.”

“As a university that is committed to bold thinking and social and technological innovation,” said Cormack, “their contributions to the most urgent issues of our day—including public health and climate change—are critical in our journey towards a better, safer and more sustainable future.”

To view UBC’s honorary degree recipients, click here.

To view UBC Okanagan’s honorary degree recipients, click here.

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