Howard Alper, a renowned academic chemist and professor at the University of Ottawa, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science, honoris causa (D.Sc.) at the Thursday morning session of Western’s 309th Convocation.
Alper, Chair of the Canvassing Committee, Global Excellence Initiative by the Governor General of Canada, and the former Chair of the Government of Canada’s Science, Technology, and Innovation Council, spoke to graduates from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and the Faculty of Science, encouraging them to pursue success with integrity, volunteerism and courage in leadership.
“Whatever your career aspirations are – to work in industry, government, new company, in innovation – do so by seizing opportunities. Do not wait for opportunities to come your way; complacency must not be part of your value system,” he said.
“Exercise the highest level of integrity in everything you do; do not be swayed by those who plagiarize or engage in fraudulent behaviour. Engage in volunteer opportunities to make a difference for others – whether by being a caregiver, educator or mentor or working with the under privileged in other roles. And aspire to leadership with courage,” Alper continued.
“In whatever you choose to do, choose what is best and right for you. Have courage in your conviction to succeed in life and be a leader in your field. Do not fear failure as it nurtures creativity and increases prospects for future success.”