Dr. Bonnie Henry, Greta Thunberg to receive honorary degrees from UBC | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Dr. Bonnie Henry, Greta Thunberg to receive honorary degrees from UBC

Climate change activist Greta Thunberg (left) and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.
March 31, 2021 - 10:04 AM

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and climate activist Greta Thunberg are receiving honorary degrees from the University of British Columbia this spring.

Dr. Henry will receive her honorary degree from UBC Vancouver, while Thunberg will receive her honorary degree from UBC Okanagan, according to a UBC news release. They are among 18  individuals receiving honorary degrees from UBC.

“Our honorary degree recipients are a remarkable group of people that are making a difference in their communities both globally and locally,” says deputy vice-chancellor and principal of UBC Okanagan Lesley Cormack, in the release.

In recognition of substantial contributions to society UBC confers honorary degrees — the highest honours conferred by the university — to deserving individuals who have made substantial contributions to society. Honorary degrees are conferred as a mark of esteem in either a Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Letters or Doctor of Science.

Dr. Henry is receiving a Doctor of Science, while Thunberg is receiving a Doctor of Laws.

Dr. Henry, B.C.'s top doctor and former physician epidemiologist for the B.C. Centre for Disease Control, has led the government initiative from a rational, scientific perspective, garnering accolades from across Canada and internationally, according to UBC.

Her specialized work in public health and preventive medicine also includes critical international initiatives such as the WHO/UNICEF polio eradication program in Pakistan and the World Health Organization’s response to the Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

Thunberg, 18, has gained international recognition for challenging world leaders to take immediate, science-based action against climate change, and for sparking climate-change activism in many parts of the world, according to UBC.

She is a three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, has given speeches at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland; at the European Parliament; in front of the legislatures of Italy, France, the United Kingdom and the United States; at the 2019 UN Youth Climate Summit in New York, to which she famously traveled on an emissions-free yacht; and the 2019 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid.

To learn more, visit UBC Okanagan’s website and UBC's website for the full list of recipients.

Videos of the recipients giving an address to the graduating class will be available May 31.

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