Sept. 11, 2023
For Immediate Release
WATERLOO — Business leader Rola Dagher and Indigenous artist Christi Belcourt will receive honorary degrees as part of Wilfrid Laurier University’s 2023 fall convocation ceremonies. Waterloo campus ceremonies take place at Lazaridis Hall on Thursday, Oct. 12 and Friday, Oct. 13. Brantford campus ceremonies will be held at the Sanderson Centre for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
Rola Dagher, who was Dell Technologies global channel chief until recently, is well known for working with some of the brightest minds in the technology sector throughout her career of more than two decades, which has included leadership roles at Cisco Canada and Bell Canada. Dagher believes in diversity of thought and has made it her mission to empower, support and foster diverse talent. She has especially worked to provide opportunities for women.
After a catastrophic explosion in Beirut’s port that resulted in many dead and injured, Dagher connected with Canadian-Lebanese leaders, founded the Lebanese Canadian Coalition (LCC) and helped lead a fundraising initiative that resulted in nearly $55 million in donations. Dagher, who describes herself as proud Lebanese and a grateful Canadian, was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2023. She has previously received honorary doctorate degrees from McMaster University, Toronto Metropolitan University and the University of Waterloo. She was named one of the 2020 Top 25 Women of Influence by WXN and the 2019 Woman of the Year by Women in Communications and Technology.
Christi Belcourt (apihtâwikosisâniskwêw / mânitow sâkahikanihk) is a visual artist, designer, community organizer, environmentalist, social justice advocate, and avid land-based arts and language learner. Following the tradition of Métis floral beadwork, Belcourt paints large scale floral landscapes and uses subject matter as a metaphor for human existence to relay a variety of meanings. Belcourt’s work has touched on themes including concern for the environment, biodiversity, spirituality and awareness of Métis culture.
Belcourt’s paintings are found in many collections across North America including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Gabriel Dumont Institute, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery and the Minneapolis Institute of Art. She was named 2014 Aboriginal Arts Laureate by the Ontario Arts Council and in 2016 received the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts and a Governor General’s Innovation Award.
Tickets are required for all convocation ceremonies. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for ticket inquiries. Members of the media are asked to RSVP to attend. For more information about convocation, visit wlu.ca/convocation.
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Sondra Schwartz, Associate Director, University Relations (Ceremonies and Events), Advancement and External Relations
Wilfrid Laurier University
Lori Chalmers Morrison, Director: Integrated Communications External Relations
Wilfrid Laurier University