Five Western alumni have been appointed to the Order of Canada, joining more than 7,600 people who have been invested into one of Canada’s highest honours since 1967.
These alumni were among 85 new appointments announced on June 29: Stacey Ann Allaster, LLD’14, MBA’00, BA’85; James Lloyd Cassels, LLB’80; Dr. William Foster Clark, MD’70; Dr. Zane Cohen, BA’65; and Guy Jacques Pratte, BA’78.
Created in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth II, the Order of Canada honours people whose service has shaped society, whose innovation has ignited imaginations and whose compassion has united communities.
“The Order of Canada celebrates the lives, endeavours and successes of people from coast to coast to coast and from all walks of life,” said Mary Simon, Governor General of Canada during the Order of Canada announcement. “Those being appointed today come from a variety of sectors, have achieved national and international success, and have shown ingenuity, innovation and generosity. What’s more, they have made a difference in their communities and for Canada with their outstanding dedication and commitment.”
Western alumni recently appointed to the Order of Canada (not in slideshow: James Cassels)
Allaster was recognized for her trailblazing contributions to the advancement of gender equality in women’s professional tennis and for her dedicated mentorship in the sports management industry. She is currently the chief executive, professional tennis, for the United States Tennis Association (USTA), setting the strategic vision for the USTA’s pro tennis division.
For his contributions as a university administrator and law scholar, Cassels was appointed to the Order of Canada, cited for his commitment to improving access to higher education. He has been a law professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia since 1981. He served as the seventh president of the University of Victoria from July 2013 to October 2020, and was also the university’s dean in the Faculty of Law, and served as vice-president, academic, and provost.
Clark is professor emeritus with Schulich Medicine and Dentistry. He was awarded the Order of Canada for his extensive research in the field of nephrology and for his leadership in investigating the long-term health effects of the municipal water contamination in Walkerton, Ont., in 2000, considered the worst E. coli contamination in Canada. Clark is a founding member of the Kidney Clinical Research Unit, and is influential to the practice of nephrology in Canada and internationally.
For his innovative surgical methods in the field of colorectal surgery, Cohen was awarded the Order of Canada, recognizing his leadership in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. Cohen is the director of the director of the Zane Cohen Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto and an internationally renowned surgeon with expertise in inflammatory bowel disease and inherited colorectal cancer.
For his Order of Canada award, Pratte was recognized for “his contributions as a lawyer, notably to the pro bono movement, and for his volunteer commitments to the performing arts.” He is a partner at law firm Borden Ladner Gervais LLP based in Toronto. He served as the director of Pro Bono Ontario, and eventually started Pro Bono Quebec, providing people access to justice through free legal advice.