The University of Windsor will confer degrees on more than 800 graduating students during two sessions of its 104th Convocation ceremonies at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, October 17, in the St. Denis Centre.
Reid Bigland, president of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Canada, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree and will address Convocation at the 10 a.m. session. Gordon Giffin, 19th US Ambassador to Canada, will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree and will address Convocation at the 3 p.m. session.
Bigland was appointed chair, president and CEO of FCA Canada in July 2006, where he is currently responsible for the company’s entire Canadian commercial operations and legal entity. In June 2011, he was named senior vice president for U.S. sales, responsible for the company’s dealer relations; order facilitations; incentives, and field operations. In addition, Bigland was named head of Alfa Romeo Brand for North America in August 2014. He is also a member of the corporate group executive council, its highest management-level decision-making body, and the board of directors.
Prior to his current roles, Bigland served as president of Ram Truck Brands, and as president of Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation.
Giffin served as the 19th U.S. Ambassador to Canada from 1997 to 2001. As chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Ottawa, he managed U.S. interests in the largest bilateral trading relationship in the context of the North American Free Trade Agreement, and received the Superior Honor Award from the Department of State for negotiating a pre-clearance agreement. He also served as legislative director and chief counsel to U.S. Senator Sam Nunn in Washington D.C. from 1975 to 1979.
Giffin was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, and grew up in Montreal and Toronto. He returned to the U.S. to attend Duke University. He is currently chair of Dentons’ U.S. Public Policy and Regulation practice, and is a co-chair of Dentons’ global energy sector team.
The Fall Convocation schedule begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, when degrees will be conferred on graduating classes (including graduate studies) in the faculties of engineering, nursing, science, and inter-faculty programs.
At the 3 p.m. session, degrees will be conferred on graduating classes in the faculties of arts, humanities and social sciences; business; education; human kinetics; and law.