Honorary degree recipients

Four outstanding individuals will be recognized with honorary degrees at this spring's Encaenia ceremonies on May 16 and 17.

Ceremony A

Ann Brennan, of South Johnville, NB, will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree.

Ann Brennan is a historical novelist, environmentalist, government policy activist, community leader, author, businesswoman, mother of six, grandmother of 11 and great-grandmother of two.

In 1998, at the age of 56, she fulfilled a lifelong dream and earned her bachelor of arts with honours in history from UNB. She went on to complete a master’s degree in environmental history, also from UNB, with a thesis on deep ecology and James Lovelock’s Gaia theory. This led her to England to study Gaia theory at Schumacher College.

Ms. Brennan has been recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s leading social activists. After becoming the first female candidate in the federal riding of Carleton-Charlotte in 1979, she devoted herself to public policy. She was the New Brunswick representative on the federal Liberal Party Policy Committee, served on the board of the National Council of Welfare, initiated the National Policy Committee on Agriculture, among others. In 2004 and 2005, she travelled to Ukraine as part of Canada’s corps of civilian volunteers to serve as an election observer during Ukraine’s Orange Revolution.

As an author, her work stretches from biography to historical novels and collections of poetry. She is a founder of the Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick and, together with her daughter, sponsors the New Brunswick Book Award for Non-Fiction each year. She is an active participant in the province’s Writers in Schools Program and is a member of PEN Canada, the Writers’ Union of Canada and the Canadian Association of Irish Studies.

Ms. Brennan served on the board of trustees of the Canadian Museum of Civilization (now the Canadian Museum of History) and the Canadian War Museum from 2004-2008. In honour of her decades of public service, she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002.

Ceremony B

J. Keith McIntosh, from Fredericton, NB, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.

Keith McIntosh is a successful entrepreneur and business leader who is committed to the growth of New Brunswick.

He is the founder, co-CEO and president of the software testing service Professional Quality Assurance Ltd. (PQA) and the founder of Professional Aboriginal Testing Organization Inc. (PLATO).

Founded as a one-person office in 1997, PQA has become a New Brunswick success story with more than 150 employees in seven offices across the country. Mr. McIntosh has guided the organization through challenges including Y2K and the world financial crisis. He has also seized opportunities for growth and social impact with the development of PLATO.

PLATO began in 2015 as an idea and business model to train and employ Indigenous people as software testers in or close to their home communities. Customized training courses allow testers to enter the workforce quickly. PLATO currently employs more than 50 Indigenous software testers across the country.

Mr. McIntosh is a mentor for numerous startup entrepreneurs in the region and a founding member of the New Brunswick Information Technology Council. He served on the board of directors of the Wallace McCain Institute from 2008-2009 and on the board of directors of Science East from 2011-2013.

He was named an Atlantic finalist for EY Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017 and Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year in 2012. He is a multiple winner of KIRA awards, taking home the Industry Champion and People’s Choice awards in 2016 and the Export Service and Employment Growth awards in 2006.

Ceremony C

Justice J. Ernest Drapeau, ONB, originally from Campbellton, NB, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Justice Drapeau completed his bachelor of arts at Université de Moncton. He received a Lord Beaverbrook Scholarship and attended law school at the University of New Brunswick. While at UNB, he was co-winner of the W. H. Harrison Shield moot court competition, graduated first in his class and was awarded the Carswell Prize, the Law Faculty Prize for academic and civic distinction and the Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal.

His legal career was versatile and ranged from criminal and private civil law to public interest litigation. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1990 and Chief Justice of New Brunswick in 2003. He served as Chief Justice until May 2018.

His extensive professional and community involvement while practicing law saw him serve as president of the Shediac Chamber of Commerce, the Westmorland County Cystic Fibrosis Society and director of the Université de Moncton Alumni Association.

Justice Drapeau is chair of the Order of New Brunswick Committee and chair of the Committee responsible for recommending candidates for appointment as Queen’s Counsel. In 2011, he became the first Justice to be appointed Vice-Chair of the Canadian Judicial Council.

In honour of his significant contributions and acheivements, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 and the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013.

Ceremony D

David T. Lynch, originally from Minto, NB, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree.

David Lynch received his bachelor of science in chemical engineering from UNB in 1977, and completed his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Alberta in 1982. Dr. Lynch joined the faculty at the University of Alberta as an assistant professor in 1981 and remains a professor of chemical engineering there. His teaching and research have focused on the area of catalytic reaction engineering.

Dr. Lynch served as dean of engineering at the University of Alberta from 1994-2015. During this time, the faculty of engineering became a leader in North America and around the world. As dean, he more than doubled engineering undergraduate and graduate student enrolment, spearheaded the construction of five new buildings and the major renewal of an existing building, and secured donations to grow the engineering endowments by close to $150 million from 1994 to 2015.

He is a member of the NSERC Committee on Research Partnerships and has served on more than 30 provincial, national and international advisory, management, government and corporate boards and agencies.

Among the many recognitions he has received are the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Alberta Centennial Medal, and the ASTech Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Alberta Science and Technology Community. He and his wife, Joan, are eponyms of the David and Joan Lynch School of Engineering Safety and Risk Management at the University of Alberta.