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UPEI to confer four honorary degrees at convocation

FILE PHOTO: Wes MacAleer.
FILE PHOTO: Wes MacAleer. - Submitted

Four individuals who are leaders in their fields will be awarded honorary doctor of laws degrees at the University of Prince Edward Island’s convocation ceremonies on May 12.

Bill LeClair, Anne Love (née Michael), Wes MacAleer and Anne Smith

UPEI president Alaa Abd-El-Aziz says each of the recipients is a distinguished individual who has made a significant impact in his or her field and the university community.

LeClair graduated in UPEI’s first class in 1970. He was president of the student union and was named life-president for the class of 1970 by his fellow students. LeClair has been a long-time volunteer with the Calgary Friends of UPEI, being the driving force behind a $1 million endowment to support Alberta students to attend UPEI. He also created an award for a varsity athlete and is a huge advocate of UPEI, recruiting students through his passion for his alma mater.

Love is an avid supporter of post-secondary education and served as president of the University Women’s Group, an organization that raised money for scholarship funds, welcomed the spouses of new faculty members, and greatly contributed to campus social life by organizing many events. In 2001, she was awarded the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. She and her late husband, retired math professor Dr. Harry Love, established an endowment fund at UPEI to support an award to recognize student achievement in perpetuity. She was named a UPEI Founder in 2003, and Dr. Love was named a Founder in 2007—making them UPEI’s only Founders couple.

MacAleer is a graduate of Saint Dunstan’s University’s Class of 1966, and has served as a member of the UPEI board of governors, alumni representative on the UPEI senate and served for six years as the chair of the Nichola K. S. Goddard Foundation fundraising dinner. For decades, he has personally supported a scholarship in memory of his brother, Noel, an engineering student who died while studying at UPEI. MacAleer’s contributions to the Island community have been recognized through numerous medals and awards, including the 2014 PEI Humanitarian of the Year.

Smith was a trailblazer in a male-dominated profession and a role model to many women who followed in her path when she became an investment adviser. She became a Designated Certified Investment Manager and Fellow of the Canadian Securities Institute, one of the highest honours in her field. She served on the UPEI board of governors from 1987 to 1995. Members of her family—sons Stephen and Andrew and grandsons Alex and Ben—are graduates of the University, and a granddaughter is a student in the Faculty of Nursing. Smith has given back to her community in countless ways, including currently as a volunteer with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation.

“They are excellent role models for our graduates,” said Abd-El-Aziz. “By conferring them with honorary doctor of laws degrees, we acknowledge and thank them for their many contributions to society.”

Convocation ceremonies will take place on Saturday, May 12, in the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre with the morning ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. and the afternoon ceremony at 2:30 p.m.

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