Honorary degree for Suzanne Fortier

Posted on Monday, June 2, 2014

By McGill Reporter Staff

Carleton University will bestow an honorary degree on McGill Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier on June 10 to recognize her “outstanding leadership in the Canadian scientific community while fostering research opportunities for future generations of scholars.”

Stuart H. “Kip” Cobbett, Chair of McGill’s Board of governors, said Prof. Fortier’s honour is highly deserved.

“The honorary doctorate confirms the great respect the academic community has for Suzanne,” Cobbett said. “We at McGill see her leadership in action every day. We are very proud of her and delighted by this acknowledgement of her many accomplishments.”

Over the course of her career, Prof. Fortier has been a strong advocate of research excellence and partnerships. Before taking up the role of Principal in September 2013, she served as President of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) since 2006. During her time at the granting council, Prof. Fortier strengthened discovery research and Canada’s capacity to attract the best talent. Her substantial skill in building relationships allowed her to promote business-university partnerships and to forge stronger ties with national and international organizations to increase joint research initiatives.

Prior to NSERC, Prof. Fortier held the posts of Vice-Principal (Research) and Vice-Principal (Academic) at Queen’s University, where she was also a professor specializing in crystallography. Over the course of her academic career, she authored or co-authored more than 80 publications and developed new techniques in crystallographic data mining to gain new insights from large structural databases.

Prof. Fortier previously received an honorary degree from Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia in 2006.

“A strong academic leader, brilliant scholar, vigorous and effective proponent of research, Suzanne Fortier developed an effective national agenda in support of research in science and engineering,’’ said Carleton President Roseann O’Reilly Runte. “It is a privilege to recognize this inspiring Canadian.’’

Prof. Fortier said she was pleased, but humbled, by Carleton’s recognition of her contributions to research and post-secondary education.

“It is a great honour to receive this recognition from one of our esteemed sister universities,” said Prof. Fortier. “Both during my time at McGill and my years at Queen’s, Carleton has time and again proved itself an outstanding partner in our shared pursuit of driving innovation and advancing knowledge.”

Referring to the McGill Redmen’s nail-biting win over the Carleton Ravens at the Canadian university men’s hockey championships in March, she added, “They’ve got a pretty tough hockey team, too.”

The Convocation ceremony, which begins at 9:30 a.m., will be webcast at http://www.carleton.ca/



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