CBU to Confer Honorary Degrees on Four Deserving Individuals and Choir this Spring as part of the 50th Anniversary Celebration

Cape Breton University announced today that it will confer honorary degrees on four Cape Bretoners and one group as part of the institution’s 50th Anniversary celebrations and 2024 spring convocation.

During the Spring Convocation ceremonies taking place May 13 to 15, four Cape Bretoners will receive honorary degrees for their contributions to the community in the fields of business, law and arts and culture. Robert Sampson, Lori Kennedy, Warren Gordon and Moira MacLeod will be welcomed into the honorary degree family as CBU celebrates the largest graduating class.

Also, CBU will welcome the Cape Breton Chorale to the honorary degree family on May 3 at a gala dinner called The Golden Gala, which will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Chorale.

 “We are thrilled to welcome these outstanding and dedicated individuals and members of the Cape Breton Chorale into the CBU family with honourary degrees,” says CBU President & Vice-Chancellor David C. Dingwall. “CBU has been conferring honorary degrees for more than 20 years, and it is among the highest honour we can give to recognize and celebrate those who have an impact on the communities around them.”

Each individual receiving an honorary degree has shaped the community and highlighted the culture of Cape Breton through their work. The theme of CBU’s 50th Anniversary is Our Past, Our Story, Our Future and each honorary degree recipient has dedicated their skills to telling CBU’s and Cape Breton Island’s story through their work and through their art and through their work.

“In choosing to confer an honorary degree, Cape Breton University shines a light on those individuals and organizations that live out, in an exemplary fashion, CBU’s values of courage, cooperation and quality,” says President Dingwall. “CBU reaches beyond its campus to recognize excellence and extraordinary achievement in those areas which embody the objectives and ideals of Cape Breton University.”

About the Honorees:

The Cape Breton Chorale has given more than 250 performances at home and abroad for more than 50 years. Canadian radio and television audiences have been able to enjoy the music of the Cape Breton Chorale through a number of appearances on various programs, including the CBC Choral Competitions, where the Chorale competed as an Atlantic finalist. The Chorale was first established under the direction of Sister Rita Clare and has grown over the past 50 years to include more than 60 members from across Cape Breton Island.

Robert Sampson has more than thirty-five years’ of experience in the law sector and Robert is a founding partner of Sampson McPhee. From fisherman, farmers, labour relations, small business owners to CEOs, his clients come to know and benefit from a passionate ally. Robert practices primarily in the areas of corporate and commercial law, estate planning, and real estate. Robert is particularly proud of the role he plays in facilitating opportunities in Cape Breton. In addition to his involvement in various local economic growth activities and boards, he served as the Celtic Colours International Festival’s Chairman and held the Chair Board of Governors position at Cape Breton University for over five years.

Lori Kennedy has been the co-owner of Louisbourg Seafoods since the company’s inception in 1984. As a former fisheries plant worker, Kennedy has a deep appreciation for the industry and she possesses skills that are a direct result of working in each facet of operations. A graduate of Cape Breton University’s Business Program, Kennedy completed the Women’s Leadership Forum through Harvard Business School.  She is a member of Women’s Presidents Organization – Atlantic Chapter, a non-profit organization formed to improve business conditions for women entrepreneurs and to promote the acceptance and advancement of women entrepreneurs in all industry. Lori is a respected community leader and philanthropist who devotes her time to local and regional charities and sports organizations.

Moria MacLeod is a Nova Scotian writer and author of The Bread Maker series. Following a 33-year career with the Province of Nova Scotia as a policy analyst, communications advisor, and speechwriter, the Glace Bay native dove into her passion for creative writing. Moira has scripted a number of signature events celebrating or commemorating local, provincial, or national milestones. These events  include Night of the Bells, marking the 100th Anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, Stronger than Steel, celebrating the opening of Sydney’s Open Hearth Park; and, Nimidiwin, a national showcase of Indigenous culture at the Canadian Museum of History. In 2016, Ms. MacLeod released her first novel, The Bread Maker, the first in a six part series, is a fictional account of a spirited young woman living in a gritty coal mining town during the 1930s-40s who pushes back on institutionalized corruption and the punishing social norms of the day.

Warren Gordon has been documenting lives and events in the Cape Breton community for over 45 years. From his downtown studio and gallery on Charlotte Street in Sydney, Warren has provided professional photographic services to graduates, families, the business community, and wedding parties. Mr. Gordon has also captured the vibrant Cape Breton culture with original portraits of artists and performers and exciting images of entertainment and cultural gatherings. Mr. Gordon has also photographed Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and much of the rest of Canada, including the Rocky Mountains. In 2003, Warren was awarded the Master’s Bar for his Master of Photographic Arts (MPA) degree. In 2007, Warren captured the award for Top Pictorial Image from the Professional Photographers of Canada-Atlantic.