June 5, 2019

Class of 2019: Advocate for the arts and Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter honoured during convocation ceremonies

Leader in mental health research recognized with Order of the University of Calgary
From left: John R. Lacey, Susanne Craig, Rochelle (Robbie) Babins-Wagner

From left: John R. Lacey, Susanne Craig, Rochelle (Robbie) Babins-Wagner.

At convocation, the University of Calgary recognizes a number of exemplary individuals with honorary degrees and Orders of the University of Calgary (OTUC). The honorary degree, the Doctor of Laws, is the University of Calgary’s highest academic honour, bestowed on individuals whose notable achievements and community service merit recognition. The OTUC is a highly prestigious recognition honouring University of Calgary community members who have contributed in an impactful manner to the university over a period of time.

Dr. John R. Lacey, PhD, will have the honorary degree conferred upon him at the June convocation ceremony for the Faculties of Arts and Graduate Studies.

At the afternoon ceremony for the Faculties of Arts, Social Work and Graduate Studies, Susanne Craig will have the honorary conferred upon her, and Dr. Rochelle (Robbie) Babins-Wagner, PhD, will receive the OTUC.

Philanthropist, oil and gas entrepreneur

John R. Lacey is an oil and gas entrepreneur and an advocate for the arts. In 1970, he formed John R. Lacey International Ltd. to undertake reservoir, economic, contractual and advisory work focusing on global activities. The company undertook work in many different countries and advised major transmission and production companies, as well as national and state governments.

Lacey, together with his late wife, Naomi, supported many Calgary arts organizations over the decades, perhaps most notably the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO). The couple spearheaded the formation of The Friends of the CPO and Musical Heritage Program and the Virtuoso Programme.

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter

UCalgary alumna Susanne Craig, BA’91, is an investigative reporter at The New York Times. This year, she was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize and George Polk Award for her role in the investigation into American President Donald Trump’s tax schemes. In Canada, she is the recipient of the National Newspaper Award for a series she wrote on insider trading.

She got her start in journalism at The Gauntlet, UCalgary's student newspaper.

Leader in mental health research and support

UCalgary alumna Robbie Babins-Wagner, PhD’11, has led a remarkable career as a leader in the field of mental health. She is the CEO of the Calgary Counselling Centre, and has made the centre a world leader in use of practice-based evidence. She has extensive experience in counselling, supporting domestic abuse survivors, child welfare and health care.

Babins-Wagner has an appointment as an adjunct professor within the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary, where she teaches as a sessional instructor. Throughout her remarkable 40-year career, Babins-Wagner has demonstrated outstanding commitment and service to the University of Calgary.

Nominations for honorary degree and Order of the University of Calgary recipients are open year-round. Nominations forms and other important information are available on the Senate website