(Toronto—June 3, 2009) On Thursday, June 4, the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) will present honorary doctorate degrees to author Margaret Atwood, artist Charles Pachter and collector and educator Father Dan Donovan, the university announced today.
“Each of these individuals has a very special relationship to the OCAD community,” said OCAD President Sara Diamond. “We are so pleased to recognize their contributions to OCAD and to the cultural fabric of Canada. Their presence at our university’s convocation will no doubt inspire our graduating class as they move forward to the next stage of their careers.”
Margaret Atwood is a passionate advocate on behalf of Canada’s cultural community, and has been a valued supporter of OCAD for many years. As an author, Atwood has an uncanny knack for writing books that anticipate the popular preoccupations of her public. Acclaimed for her ability to portray both personal and worldly problems of universal concern, Atwood’s work has been published in more than 30 languages, including Farsi, Japanese, Turkish, Finnish, Korean, Icelandic and Estonian. She is the author of more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and critical essays. Her recent publications include Moral Disorder, a collection of interconnected short stories and The Door, a collection of poetry (both 2007).
Most recently, Ms. Atwood delivered the CBC Massey Lecture Series, published by House of Anansi Press as Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth (2008). Her novel, Oryx and Crake, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Giller Prize. She is the author of the 2000 Booker Prize-winning The Blind Assassin and Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy. Her other books include The Robber Bride, Cat’s Eye, The Handmaid’s Tale, The Penelopiad and The Tent. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Prince of Asturias Award for Letters in Spain.
Painter, printmaker, sculptor, designer, historian, and lecturer Charles Pachter is one of Canada’s leading contemporary artists. His images of the Queen, moose and the Canadian flag are pop icons of Canadian contemporary art. Pachter’s painting “The Painted Flag” was recently acquired by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection for almost $38,000 at Joyner Canadian Fine Art’s spring auction of Canadian art, more than double its pre-sale estimate. Pachter has long been an avid supporter of the OCAD community.
Pachter studied French literature at the Sorbonne in Paris, painting and graphics at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan, art history at the University of Toronto, and printmaking at OCAD under Fred Hagan in the early 1960s. McClelland & Stewart has published an illustrated book on his life and work, as well as The Journals of Susanna Moodie, his celebrated collaboration with Margaret Atwood. Pachter has published the award-winning children’s book M is for Moose, and will launch a new book called Canada Counts this autumn.
In Canada, Pachter’s work has been shown at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, among others. His steel and granite moose sculptures have been installed across Canada. His work can also be seen in Toronto’s College Subway Station, where the murals of the Montréal Canadiens face the Toronto Maple Leafs across the subway tracks. His works hang in the Prime Minister’s residence, in the Parliament Buidlings and in the Embassy of France in Ottawa, and in the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., and are represented in public and private collections around the world. He is a member of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier of France’s Order of Arts and Letters, and is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.
Dan Donovan, Professor Emeritus of theology at St. Michael’s College in the University of Toronto, holds licentiate degrees in theology and biblical studies from Laval University, Québec, and the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, as well as a doctorate in theology from the Wilhelmsuniversität, Münster, Germany. Since 1971 he has taught at St. Michael’s College in its Faculty of Theology and its Christianity and Culture Program. He has published a number of books and articles on a variety of religious and theological themes.
Although retired, Professor Donovan continues to teach. He is a former chair of the Providence Healthcare Foundation and a former member of the boards of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, St. Michael’s College and OCAD. An avid art collector, he has donated most of his collection of close to 300 works of contemporary Canadian art to St. Michael’s College. A catalogue entitled Signs of the Spirit: The Donovan Collection at St. Michael’s College was published in 2001.
Professor Donovan was awarded the initial Lynn Donoghue Friends of the Arts Award and the OMNI Network has produced a six episode television series about his collection.
Since 2003, OCAD has conferred honorary doctorates to such luminaries as Bill Buxton, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Karim Rashid, Will Alsop, Daphne Odjig and Claude Gidman. Prior to 2003, OCAD named honorary fellows, including A. J. Casson, Don Watt, Betty Goodwin, Atom Egoyan and Bruce Mau, among many others.
About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.
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For more information or images, please contact:
Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)
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