Current Students Info

Banks, bulbs and blooms at fall convocation

Monday, October 28, 2013 - 4:05pm
Susan Down

An electrifying business leader, a globally-recognized tourism destination and a steady hand at Canada’s banking helm will be honoured by Royal Roads University during fall convocation, to be held at the Royal Theatre on Nov. 6.

The CEO of GE Canada, Elyse Allan, and former Bank of Canada governor David Dodge will receive honorary degrees, while The Butchart Gardens will receive the Chancellor’s Community Recognition Award. General Manager Dave Cowen will accept the award on behalf of The Gardens. 

At the fall convocation, 898 credentials will be conferred on students graduating from degree, certificate and diploma programs in the Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Management. 

“Royal Roads is proud to recognize the inspiring contributions of today’s honorees to our community, Canada and the world,” said Royal Roads president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon. “From the aesthetic to financial and corporate sectors, their initiatives demonstrate those tenets of environmental, leadership and entrepreneurial success that are the foundation of our educational mandate.” 

Elyse Allan is president and chief executive officer of GE Canada. Prior to her current position, Allan was president and CEO of the Toronto Board of Trade and, before that, a senior executive at Ontario Hydro. Allan has been recognized as one of Canadian Business Magazine’s 25 Most Powerful People in Canada (2009).

David Dodge is one of the world's most admired and respected Canadian economists. Currently chancellor of Queen's University, Dodge is also senior advisor to Canadian law firm Bennett Jones LLP.  

During his seven-year term (2001-2008) as Bank of Canada governor, he deftly steered Canada’s central bank through a tumultuous period including the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11 and the dot-com bust. Prior to that, Dodge held senior federal positions as deputy minister of finance, and deputy minister of health. During his academic career, he taught economics at Queen's, Johns Hopkins, University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University.  

The Butchart Gardens has been a symbol of sustainable entrepreneurship in Victoria ever since its inception in 1904 when Jennie Butchart transformed a quarry into the Sunken Garden, later expanded to include Japanese, Italian and Rose Gardens. 

The Gardens, now a national historic site, has gained an international reputation for an outstanding visitor experience that includes outdoor symphony concerts and stage shows. It remains a strong contributor to the local economy, attracting almost a million people annually. 

The convocation ceremonies are being held at the Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St. in Victoria. The morning ceremony, during which Allan will be honoured, starts at 9:30 a.m. The afternoon ceremony, during which Dodge and The Butchart Gardens will receive their honours, begins at 1:30 p.m.

The public is invited to nominate outstanding individuals for honorary degrees and the Chancellor’s Community Recognition Award. Learn more at