TRU 2002 Honorary Degree Recipients


John Dennison - Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

Dr. John Dennison has been actively engaged in educational research and planning since 1971, and was instrumental in the creation of BC's college and university-college systems. He has made a major contribution to UCC as an external representative on the UCC academic designations committee.

Born in Sydney, Australia, Dr. Dennison gained his teaching certificate and a diploma in physical education at Sydney University before completing his Bachelor of Physical Education degree at the University of British Columbia in 1955. He led his class when he graduated with a Master of Physical Education degree at UBC in 1960. He then received a doctorate in Education from Washington State University in 1967. After a year of teaching at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Dennison returned to UBC as a professor in 1962, becoming chair of the UBC department of higher education in 1974, a position he held until 1987.

Throughout this period, Dr. Dennison was regularly consulted by education ministries in BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, and appointed to consortiums and commissions on higher education in New Zealand and Australia. He has served on the Academic Council of the BC Open University, was co-chair of the BC Council on Admissions and Transfer from 1993 to 1999, and chair of the BC branch of the National Policy Committee on Post-Secondary funding from 1985 to 1987.

John Dennison has published or co-published four books, 94 peer-reviewed articles in the fields of physical education, education in correctional institutes, elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, government-university relations, post-secondary labour relations, distance education, and, as principal investigator, has presented the results of 81 studies at conferences around the world. His research efforts have often been translated into innovations and improvements at many levels of educational planning, policy and delivery.

Along with teaching, research, publication, and consultation, Dr. Dennison found time to serve as editor or reviewer for four academic journals, and has been an active member of a number of professional and learned societies. Dr. Dennison's many accomplishments have been noted by various awards throughout the years, including the Distinguished Member Award from the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education in 1992, the UBC President's Service Award for Excellence in 1993, and the Distinguished Service Award of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges in 2000.

Robert Kroetsch - Doctor of Letters, honoris causa

Robert kroetsch has published nine novels, four books of critical writing, eleven collections of poetry, and eight short stories. He is the founder of Boundary 2, a highly influential journal of postmodern writing, and was nominated for his second governor general’s award for literature.

Dr. Kroetsch has contributed to a variety of projects at UCC, including support for and contributions to the UCC journal Textual Studies in Canada, the foreword to Sentences and Paroles, a book by UCC English professor Peter Murphy and Jennifer Murphy, contributions to the interdisciplinary work PhotoGraphic Encounters by UCC's Dr. Will Garrett-Petts and Mr. Don Lawrence, and giving his time generously to Canadian literature students at UCC and to the community of Kamloops.

Born in 1927 in Heisler, Alberta, Kroetsch attended the University of Alberta, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Philosophy, later receiving a Master of Arts in English from Middlebury College in Vermont. After attaining a PhD in English at the University of Iowa, Kroetsch taught at the State University of New York in Binghamton for 17 years before returning to Canada to teach at the University of Manitoba until he retired in 1995. He also completed a term as a distinguished visiting writer at the University of Calgary.

Throughout his academic career, Kroetsch completed 24 books, contributed numerous articles, short stories and essays to magazines and journals in Canada and abroad, and presented papers focused on literature and creative writing at many conferences worldwide. He has received many awards for his writing and scholarship, including the Governor General's award for fiction in 1969, the National Magazine's Silver Award for Poetry in 1985, runner-up for the best book award in the Commonwealth Writers Prizes in 1993, and in 1995 was the first Canadian to receive a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western Literature Association. He was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 1986, and his work has been the subject of a Canadian symposium in 1986 and an international symposium in France in 1994. This is Kroetsch’s third honorary degree.

To Top


Share your congratulations and well wishes to our graduating class online!

Sign Virtual Guestbook