June 6, 2018

Dave Pierce, Gordon Currie, Stephanie Nolen and Aruna Srivastava share their thoughts with grads

Canadian journalist and award-winning composer to receive honorary degrees; two UCalgary leaders will each receive Order of the University of Calgary
Clockwise, from top left: Stephanie Nolen, Dave Pierce, Aruna Srivastava, and Gord Currie.

Clockwise, from top left: Stephanie Nolen, Dave Pierce, Aruna Srivastava, and Gord Currie.

At convocation, the University of Calgary recognizes a number of exemplary individuals with honorary degrees and Orders of the University of Calgary (OTUC). The honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, is the University of Calgary’s highest academic honour, bestowed on individuals whose notable achievements and community service merit recognition. These distinguished individuals will address our graduating class during the June convocation ceremonies, sharing words of wisdom gained through years as leaders in their field. 

The OTUC is a highly prestigious recognition honouring University of Calgary community members who have contributed in an impactful manner to the university over a period of time.

David Pierce will have an honorary degree conferred upon him, and Gordon Currie will receive the OTUC at the morning convocation ceremony for the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Faculty of Arts.

At the afternoon convocation ceremony for the Faculty of Graduate Studies, Faculty of Arts, and Faculty of Social Work, Stephanie Nolen will have an honorary degree conferred upon her and Dr. Aruna Srivastava, PhD, will receive the OTUC.

Canadian composer, producer and orchestrator

Dave Pierce is an Emmy Award-winning composer, producer and orchestrator.

An alumnus of Berklee College of Music (1992), Pierce regularly works in all major markets; New York, Los Angeles, Nashville, Toronto and Vancouver. He orchestrated music for Andrew Lloyd Webber’s concert tour and Jesus Christ Superstar Gospel. He has also worked with legendary entertainment producers to develop many successful projects including The Calgary Stampede’s Evening Grandstand Show, Radio City Music Hall’s Christmas Spectacular featuring The Rockettes, NBC’s Macy’s Parade, and many television awards shows including the Academy of Country Music Awards and the Gemini Awards.

In 2010, Pierce was the music director and composer for the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, for which he received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction.

Past member of the Senate and Board of Governors, passionate advocate for post-secondary education

Gordon Currie is a UCalgary alumnus (BA’75, BA'76, BSc'15) and passionate advocate for the university, having served as a member of both the Senate and the Board of Governors.

Currie is an investment industry professional with 30 years of experience doing research into publicly traded companies in the airline and petroleum industries. He began his career in the petroleum industry, but soon moved to the securities industry and worked as a financial analyst until his retirement in 2014. He is a past president of the Calgary Society of Financial Analysts.

A supporter of post-secondary education, Currie joined the University of Calgary Senate in 2010. In 2012, he was elected as the Senate's representative to the university's Board of Governors and was involved in numerous committees including the Student Awards Committee, the Student Discipline Appeal Committee, the Human Resources and Governance Committee, and the Investment Committee.

Award-winning Canadian journalist and author

Stephanie Nolen is the Latin America correspondent for the Globe and Mail. She has reported from more than 75 countries around the world. She is a seven-time winner of the National Newspaper Award for coverage that has taken her from war zones to AIDS clinics, from the mountains of Lesotho to the desert villages of Afghanistan.

Nolen has been recognized for coverage of Africa’s AIDS pandemic; public health across the developing world; conflicts in Sudan, Uganda, Somalia, El Salvador and the DR Congo; and the fight for social justice in South American slums. Her multimedia project on caste and gender discrimination in India won the Ramnath Goenka Award for Excellence in Journalism, presented to the top foreign correspondent covering India.

Associate professor, leader for Indigenous teaching and learning

Aruna Srivastava is an advocate and leader for Indigenous teaching and learning, and for social justice. Her work has focused on feminism, race theory and anti-racism, pedagogy, postcolonial and Indigenous studies.

Srivastava has been instrumental in bringing issues of Indigenous education into discussion on campus, serving on the Aboriginal Students Policy Standing Committee and the Indigenous Knowledge and Research Protocol sub-committee. She has mentored numerous Indigenous students through an educational system that is often not flexible enough to respond to their unique needs. In 1996 and 2015, Srivastava was presented with the Rev. Dr. Chief John Snow Sr. Award for providing significant support and mentorship to Indigenous students. Most recently, she has contributed her wisdom and expertise to the working group for ii’ taa’ poh’ to’ p, UCalgary’s Indigenous Strategy.

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