Volume 92, Issue 78

Tuesday, February 16, 1999


Election results not final yet

High rising plans modified

Safety changes put in motion

Mt. Allison back at work after more than three weeks off

Neighbours to consult on mastering plan

Singing for the scroll

Heating things up with ice


Caught on campus

Singing for the scroll

By Paul-Mark Rendon
Gazette Staff

Most people recognize Luciano Pavarotti as a world renowned opera singer, but thanks to McMaster University, he can now ask to be referred to as "Dr. Pavarotti."

In a special convocation on Friday, Pavarotti was conferred an honourary doctor of letters in Hamilton's Sheraton hotel.

Andrea Farquhar, assistant director of media and community relations at McMaster, said the degree was given to Pavarotti because of his outstanding service to the fine arts, as well as his fund-raising efforts for leukemia research and children in war-torn countries.

Farquhar said while the degree carries no academic weight, it was meant to recognize Pavarotti's special contribution to the world.

"Mr. Pavarotti seemed very pleased to receive the degree," Farquhar said, adding the ceremony was well received by the 200 people in attendance.

Other recipients of honourary degrees conferred by McMaster in past years include Margaret Atwood and Harry Belafonte.

Although he was in town to perform at Copps Coliseum on Valentine's Day, Pavarotti subsequently postponed the concert due to illness.

Gabe Macaluso, managing director for Copps Coliseum, said the concert, which would have been Pavarotti's debut performance at Copps Coliseum, is rescheduled for July 11.

Dalin Jameson, executive assistant to the president and government relations officer at Western, said recipients of honourary degrees from Western are first nominated and then selected by committee.

Recent honourary degree recipients at Western have included Canadian astronaut Roberta Bondar and Robert Haynes, the first Western graduate to become president of the Royal Society of Canada.

Adrienne Mosuk, a first-year social science student, commended McMaster for giving Pavarotti the honourary degree. "I think it's a good thing. Pavarotti has come far, maybe not academically, but he's gone through a lot," she said.

Chris Hamade, a third-year administrative and commercial studies student, agreed with the concept of honourary degrees but conceded they may have an ulterior motive. "If Western can get in the papers, the community will say good things. It's partly advertising."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999