The University of Northern British Columbia is delighted to announce that three honorary awards will be made at the Convocation Ceremony on 23 May, 1997. The title Friend of the University will be bestowed on W. Murray Sadler QC, while Honorary Doctorates will be awarded to the Honourable Ray Williston and Dr Ian McTaggart-Cowan.
W. Murray Sadler QC has been a key figure in the development of UNBC from the very earliest days of planning and campaigning. He played the role of political and legal tactician, utilizing his acumen and skills to keep the initiative moving through the passing of enabling legislation and beyond. He acted as Chair of the Interior University Society and as the Chair of the Interim Governing Council, and is currently a Board Member of the UNBC Foundation. He is acknowledged and accepted by the Founders as the member who best represents their number.
Dr Ian McTaggart-Cowan has dedicated a lifetime to studying, teaching and conserving the natural resources of British Columbia. His work as a biologist with the Provincial Museum in Victoria and then as a faculty member at the University of British Columbia have led to more than 260 publications (including a series of books on the birds of British Columbia), 110 television programs, and 12 teaching films. He has undertaken extensive research in ornithology and mammalogy, has guided the research of some 100 graduate students, and is an internationally recognized conservationist, acting, for example, as Chairman of the Environmental Council of Canada and as Vice-President of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. He is a benefactor of UNBC: his 2000-volume collection on the natural history of the north was donated to the University in 1992.
The Honourable Ray Williston has been a major figure in the development of education in northern British Columbia. He was Supervising Principal of Schools for Prince George from 1945 to 1949, and Inspector of Schools for Vanderhoof, Prince George and McBride from 1949 to 1953. He became MLA for Fort George in 1953 (to 1972) and during his tenure as Minister of Education (54-56), established the University Reserve Lands on Cranbrook Hill which eventually housed UNBC. He served as Minister of Lands and Forests from 1956 to 1962, and Minister of Lands, Forests and Water Resources from 1962 to 1972. Posts in the years since have included Chair & President of Ocean Falls Corporation, and Chair and President of BC Cellulose.