Visionary diamond explorer one of six UBC honorary degree recipients

A UBC alumnus and diamond explorer whose vision will help researchers take the kind of risks that lead to scientific breakthroughs is one of six individuals who will be receiving honorary degrees from UBC this year at Spring Congregation.

Stewart Blusson, who recently donated $50 million to the university to promote basic scientific research, completed his undergraduate Science degree at UBC in 1960 and his PhD at the University of California at Berkeley in 1964. He spent 15 years with the Geological Survey of Canada leading regional geological mapping and research programs in the central Yukon and parts of B.C.

In 1991, he and a partner discovered one of the world's largest diamond-bearing areas north of Yellowknife. As president of Archon Minerals Ltd., Blusson continues to conduct scientific explorations in Canada's Far North.

Honorary degree recipients are recognized for their distinguished achievements and for their contributions to UBC and to Canada.

William H. Barton, UBC alumnus and retired ambassador, has been a distinguished Canadian diplomat for more than 40 years. Internationally recognized as an authority on peace and security issues, Barton was the ambassador and permanent representative for Canada to the United Nations. He was president of the United Nations Security Council in 1977/78 and is recognized as building Canada's status in international diplomacy. A member of the Order of Canada, Barton was first chair of the Canadian Institute for International Peace and Security.

Shirley Chan, manager of non-market housing for the City of Vancouver, was appointed to UBC's Board of Governors in 1992 and served as chair from 1995 to 1998. She holds a master's degree in environmental studies from Toronto's York University and has served as an environmental and community planner.

Chan has been a director of VanCity Savings Credit Union since 1987, serving as its chair from 1993 to 1995 and is vice-chair of VanCity Enterprises. She also serves on the President's Advisory Committee on developing a downtown presence for UBC.

Peter C. Newman is one of Canada's most prominent journalists. He served as editor-in-chief at the Toronto Star before taking the helm of Maclean's magazine from 1971 to 1982, establishing it as Canada's first successful weekly newsmagazine.

A national and international columnist, Newman has also written 21 books on Canadian politics and business. He is a member of the Canadian News Hall of Fame and is a companion of the Order of Canada.

Kalman Roller was dean of the Sopron Forestry School in Sopron, Hungary when the Hungarian Revolution began in 1956. He led many of his faculty and students in an escape to Austria and in 1957 helped almost 200 students and 20 faculty emigrate to Canada. They affiliated with the UBC Faculty of Forestry where Roller continued to serve as dean of the school.

He obtained a master's degree in Plant Genetics from UBC and became a forest research scientist at the Canadian Forest Research Institute until his retirement in 1978.

Roller has been honoured with the National Order of Professional Merit from the Hungarian government and memberships in the National Science Foundation and the Association of British Columbia Professional Foresters.

Erich Vogt is one of Canada's best-known nuclear physicists and was founder and former director of TRIUMF, the sub-atomic physics laboratory based at UBC. He has served the university as a researcher, teacher and former vice-president, Academic.

An officer of the Order of Canada, Vogt has also been recognized through election to the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Association of Physicists Medal of Achievement.

Vogt was the first chair of the Science Council of B.C. and took a lead role in developing Science World, the Vancouver Institute and the B.C. Cancer Foundation.