For her tireless advocacy for innovation and an accomplished career in the sciences, Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.) at the Thursday afternoon session of Western’s 309th Convocation.
Treurnicht, who is originally from South Africa, spoke to graduates from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Faculty of Science noting they are fortunate not only to live in Canada – “a global beacon of freedom, inclusiveness and civility” – but also to be receiving a university degree in a country that calls upon them to protect the aforementioned values and to help enact change globally.
“You are graduating in a moment when the world needs more science and the world needs more Canada. The world is faster, more complex and more precariously balanced than at any other point in human history,” she said, noting today’s graduates will be integral in moving the world towards a knowledge-based economy.
“Your education in a first-class university gives you a head start to give your contribution to that really important transition. And a Canadian university degree gives you not just advantages but responsibilities to make a difference. The world will welcome you and expect much of you.”