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Two Gowlings Professionals Receive Honorary Degrees

Jun. 11, 2012
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Toronto, ON – June 11, 2012 – Two members of the Gowlings Energy Group will receive honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from two Ontario universities this week. David McFadden Q.C., partner and chair of the Firm’s international management committee, will receive his degree from York University on Monday, June 11 and Sean Conway, public policy adviser, will receive his degree from Wilfrid Laurier University on Friday, June 15. Both men will also deliver the convocation address at their respective ceremonies; David to the faculties of science, engineering and environmental studies, and Sean to the faculty of arts and science.

David was selected in recognition of his contributions to entrepreneurship, academia and innovation. His notable achievements include his leadership role with the Ontario Centres of Excellence as chair of the board of directors from 2004 to 2010; serving two years as a member of the Ontario Research & Innovation Council; and working on several government task forces, including the Ontario government’s Electricity Conservation & Supply Task Force and the Electric Working Group, part of the joint Canada-U.S. initiative established to investigate the power blackout that affected Ontario and much of the northeastern U.S. in August 2003.

“It is a tremendous honour to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws and to have the opportunity to deliver the convocation address,” says David. “The graduates will be the leaders and innovators of tomorrow, and I look forward to sharing this milestone day with them.”

David is currently a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships, the Canadian Nuclear Law Organization, the Energy Council of Canada, and a member of the advisory council for the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy. He was recently appointed to the Ontario Distribution Sector Panel, a three-member group tasked with conducting a comprehensive analysis of Ontario’s current electricity distribution sector.

David is one of 13 individuals who will receive honorary degrees at York University’s spring convocation ceremonies. Other recipients include journalist Barbara Turnbull, senator and human rights activist Don Oliver and Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler.

The former Liberal MPP for Renfrew North, Sean was selected in recognition of his contributions to public life in Ontario. Sean was elected to the Ontario Legislature at the age of 24 and held his seat for 28 years, serving in a number of cabinet roles, including minister of education, minister of colleges and universities, minister of mines and government house leader. He is a former energy critic for the Official Opposition and served on two Ontario select committees on nuclear affairs as well as several legislative committees examining health care and constitutional reform.

“I remember my time as an undergraduate at Wilfrid Laurier University with great fondness,” says Sean. “I am really looking forward to sharing my student experience at WLU with the graduates on Friday.”

Sean is currently a visiting fellow at the Ryerson University Centre for Urban Energy. He is also the chair of the board of directors of the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

Sean is one of eight individuals who will receive honorary degrees at Wilfrid Laurier University’s spring convocation ceremonies. Other recipients include novelist Joseph Boyden, clarinetist James Campbell and poet Dionne Brand.

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