The University of Windsor will mint about 4,000 new alumni during nine sessions of Convocation from June 14 to 17.
Joining the class of 2022 will be almost 1,300 grads from the past two years who missed the chance to cross the stage in person due to the pandemic. The ceremonies will take place in the WFCU Centre while the finishing touches are made to the Toldo Lancer Centre.
The University will also award honorary degrees to five individuals who have made outstanding contributions to business, culture, law, and public service.
Receiving honorary degrees are:
- John Bitove (LLB 1984), business and sports executive and philanthropist;
- Jennifer Jones (BA 1991), video producer and president of Rotary International 2022-23;
- Shannon Prince, museum administrator and historical storyteller;
- Eros Spadotto (BASc 1984), technology visionary and industry leader;
- Allan Stitt (LLB 1988), mediator, arbitrator, and advocate for alternative dispute resolution.
Bitove will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, session of Convocation.
He is the sole shareholder of Obelysk, which has had major investments in the wireless, satellite radio, real estate, restaurants, and a portfolio of other businesses.
Organizations Bitove founded include the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club, 2019 NBA champions; Canadian Satellite Radio, now SiriusXM Canada; PointNorth Capital, a joint venture with Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, one of Canada’s largest pension funds with over $80 billion in assets; the retail property owner KEYreit; and wireless operator Mobilicity.
In 2005, he launched the S’Cool Life Fund to support public elementary schools across Canada in the areas of DREAMS: Drama, Recreation, Extra-curricular, Art, Music, and Sports. The fund has raised and donated $3 million to make school life more enjoyable for thousands of public elementary school pupils.
His volunteer work includes serving as president of Toronto’s bid for the 2008 Olympic Games, and on the boards of Wake Forest University, the Canadian Olympic Foundation, Right to Play, Telefilm Canada’s Talent Fund, and Macedonia2025, a non-profit organization focused on economic and leadership development in partnership with business, government, and academia to generate opportunities and build capacities for economic growth in his ancestral homeland.
Among his honours, Bitove received Canada Basketball's inaugural Dr. James Naismith Award of Excellence for his successes and contributions to amateur and professional basketball in Canada.
Jones, president of television and video production company Media Street Productions, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the 2 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, session of Convocation.
Jones served as chair of the University of Windsor Board of Governors from 2012 to 2014 and is a past chair of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
She is the first woman president of Rotary International in its 115-year history. Her volunteer work with the humanitarian service organization includes stints serving as its international vice-president, director, district governor, and currently, as a trustee of the Rotary Foundation. She is the co-chair of its End Polio Now Countdown to History Campaign Committee, which aims to raise $150 million for efforts to eradicate the disease.
Founded in 1995, Media Street is an award-winning producer of commercials for radio and television; videos for not-for-profit awareness and corporate sales and training; and live shows; as well as providing post-production services. The Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce named it “Company of the Year” during its Business Excellence Awards.
Jones’ honours include Rotary’s Service above Self Award and the Citation for Meritorious Service, the YMCA Peace Medallion, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, and Wayne State University’s Peacemaker of the Year Award — a first for a Canadian.
Prince, curator of the Buxton National Historic Site and Museum, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 14, session of Convocation.
Prince is a sixth generation descendent from the Elgin Settlement and Buxton Mission, which was a haven for persons fleeing slavery prior to the American Civil War.
She currently chairs the National Historic Sites Alliance and the Chatham-Kent Tourism Advisory Committee, and serves on the Chatham-Kent Community Leaders Cabinet, the Chatham-Kent Community Foundation, the board of the National Trust for Canada, and Ontario’s Underground Railroad Alliance.
Her previous volunteer experience includes work with the Chatham-Kent Chamber of Commerce, the African Canadian Heritage Network, the Ontario Trillium Fund grant review team, the Chatham-Kent Economic Development Advisory Committee, and the board of directors for Chatham’s Capitol Theatre.
Prince has been involved in joint Undergound Railroad projects with the Harriet Tubman Centre at York University, the Underground Railroad Freedom Centre in Cincinnati, the Network to Freedom program with the U.S. National Parks Service, and other historical organizations.
Among her honours, she was named one of “100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women” in 2018; received the Women of Excellence award from the May Court of Chatham for contribution to the arts, cultural diversity, and heritage; and received the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Thomas Symons award for commitment to conservation.
Spadotto will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 15, session of Convocation. A recently retired executive vice-president for technology strategy and business transformation at the telecommunications company TELUS, his almost four decades in the field amount to a record of driving broadband innovation that has garnered numerous awards and has fuelled Canada’s global leadership and economic prosperity.
Spadotto earned his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering in 1984 from the University of Windsor, where he was a member of a project team that won the Ontario Engineering Design Competition for a laser-based automotive body quality inspection system. He went on to receive an MBA from the Ivey School of Business and is currently pursuing the ICD.D (Institute of Corporate Directors, Director) designation through the Rotman School of Management.
Prior to his 20-year career at TELUS, Spadotto served as chief technology officer for Clearnet Communications, director of technology development for Bell Mobility, and manager of systems application engineering for Nortel Networks.
He was the founding vice-chair of the Digital ID & Authentication Council of Canada and served six years on the board of the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award – Ontario.
His work to advance wireless technologies earned him the Distinguished Industry Leader Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Communications Society in 2014.
Stitt will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree during the 2 p.m. Friday, June 17, session of Convocation. President of ADR Chambers, the largest private alternative dispute resolution firm in the world, he is also president of the Stitt Feld Handy Group, Canada’s largest alternative dispute resolution training company.
For the past 30 years, Stitt has been mediating large commercial disputes throughout Canada and internationally. He is a distinguished fellow and a member of the Board of Governors of the International Academy of Mediators, a chartered mediator, and the author of the best-selling book Mediating Commercial Disputes.
He is also a chartered arbitrator and works as an arbitrator for the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the Canadian Transportation Agency, and the Farm Products Marketing Commission.
Stitt serves as a Canadian delegate to the United Nations Commissions on International Trade Law and helped negotiate the recently concluded Singapore Convention on the enforcement of international mediation agreements.
He received the President’s Medal and the Board of Governor’s medal on completion of his studies at Windsor Law, where he went on to teach courses in alternative dispute resolution and negotiation and has since won both the Alumni Award of Excellence and the Distinguished Alumni Award.
Stitt was the inaugural chair of the board of the Sports Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada and is past-president of the ADR Institute of Ontario, the ADR Institute of Canada, and the Ontario Bar Association ADR Section.
The celebrations will be livestreamed; tune in at visit convocation.uwindsor.ca.