Cape Breton University Spring Convocation to be Celebrated This Weekend

Local Physician and Grammy Award-Winning Artist to Receive Honorary Degrees

Cape Breton University (CBU) will celebrate the accomplishments of more than 630 graduates during its Spring Convocation ceremony being held on Saturday, May 11 at 2 p.m. at the CBU Canada Games Complex. In addition to honouring the academic achievements of the 2013 graduating class, CBU will bestow honorary degrees on local physician, Dr. Andrew Lynk and Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, Gordon (Gordie) Sampson. Both will receive a Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

During his first convocation address as CBU President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. David Wheeler will explore the theme of internationalization and the importance of global connectedness for Cape Breton Island, Cape Breton University and CBU graduates. “Students graduating this Saturday represent a multi-cultural virtual village of learners who have come together for personal growth and career development.  Representing diverse cultures, geographies and languages, from Mi’kmaq to Mandarin, Acadian to Arabic, students have forged special friendships and shared experiences that will resonate in the lives of their families and friends forever.  The opportunities to lead more fulfilling lives and make the world a better place that flow from these inter-cultural connections are limitless,” noted Dr. Wheeler.

Dr. Andrew Lynk will deliver the address to the graduates. Dr. Lynk, a native of Halifax, N.S., received his Medical degree from the Dalhousie Faculty of Medicine, with distinction. A Rhodes Scholar, he attended Balliol College, Oxford University, as well as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Pediatrics is Dr. Lynk’s passion and specialty.  He is currently the Associate Vice-President of Medicine with the Cape Breton District Health Authority, where he has held many roles over his lengthy and accomplished career, including Chief of Pediatrics and Medical Officer of Health. A community-minded individual, Dr. Lynk was the founding medical director of Cape Breton District Health Authority’s high school based Youth Health Centres, has been a consultant on a number of community-based projects, and was Chair of the Medical Staff Lobby Group for a smoke free Cape Breton Regional Municipality. Additionally, he has coached soccer, minor hockey and girls and boys basketball.

During the ceremony, graduates, their families and friends will be treated to a musical selection from award-winning Cape Breton singer/songwriter Gordie Sampson. Still early in his career, Sampson has already experienced great success in the music industry, with accolades that include a Grammy Award, a Juno Award, and two American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Awards, a Nashville Songwriters’ Association Award, a Country Music Association Award, a Canadian Country Music Association Award and 14 East Coast Music Awards. In addition to the four solo albums that Mr. Sampson has released, he has written and co-written songs for some of the biggest stars in the music industry such as Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, Bon Jovi, Donnie and Marie Osmond, Randy Travis and Miley Cyrus. He has also produced albums for Natalie MacMaster and Damhnait Doyle. 

Valedictorian, Nicole MacDougall of New Waterford, N.S., hopes to share with her fellow graduates the message that a graduate’s success is in part due to community support and how Cape Breton University provides that.

The convocation ceremony is available online at www.cbu.ca/convocation. Send congratulatory messages via Twitter using the hashtag #CBUGrad2013.