Two leaders in the arts and two mining executives are being presented with honourary doctorates by Laurentian University at its convocation ceremonies last week.
The recipients are Bernard Poulin, Denise Truax, Ned Goodman and Terry MacGibbon. See their biographies below.
“We’re very pleased to be welcoming these outstanding individuals into our alumni family,” said interim president and vice-chancellor Pierre Zundel.
“We marvel at their immense talents, but also at their willingness to share their knowledge, passion and resources with others to expand their horizons and help realize their full potential. We are extremely proud to be celebrating their generous spirits.”
“Each of these exceptional honorees have made tremendous contributions to the social, cultural and educational fabric of our region, and their influence extends across the country and around the world,” said Laurentian chancellor Steve Paikin.
“Their creativity, ingenuity and willingness to give back make them incredible examples for our students to follow.”
Poulin is an artist of rare talent whose reputation for creating stunning works in a variety of mediums has garnered him international acclaim. He is recognized as one of Canada’s finest portraitists, and served as the president of the Canadian Institute of Portrait Artists from 2003-2005. His subjects have included royalty, religious leaders, and politicians, among others. He is also an accomplished sculptor, muralist, sought-after lecturer and prolific author. He has written 11 books and contributed to countless others, sharing his vast knowledge with aspiring and established artists around the world. Poulin’s work has been commissioned by private patrons, governments, organizations and corporations around the country, including the Canadian Pacific Railway, the National Research Council of Canada and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.
Truax is a champion of francophone literature and one of the community’s most active advocates for the arts. She has served as the executive director of the Sudbury-based Prise de parole publishing house since 1988, which is the oldest French-language publisher outside of Quebec. Despite being small in size, Prise de parole has garnered international recognition for publishing hundreds of works by some of the country’s most acclaimed francophone authors, including a number of Governor General Award winners. Under her leadership, Prise de parole was twice a finalist for the Prime Minister’s Awards for Artistic Excellence, and a founding partner of the Place des Arts, Sudbury’s soon-to-be-built hub for francophone arts and culture.
In 2012, Truax received the Sudbury Community Builders Award of Excellence in the Arts category for the significant role she has played in distinguishing the city as one of the French literary capitals of Canada.
MacGibbon has been an important member of the Laurentian University community and a driver of economic prosperity in the region and around the country. After retiring from Inco Ltd. (now Vale) with over 30 years of service, MacGibbon grew FNX Mining Company, then an obscure junior explorer, into a multi-billion dollar producer and one of the country’s greatest mining success stories. In 2010, MacGibbon helped orchestrate a $1 million donation from FNX’s successor, Quadra FNX Mining Ltd., to support Laurentian’s then unnamed school of mines. MacGibbon made a further impact at Laurentian by chairing the university’s $65 million The Next 50 Campaign from 2011-2013. The funds raised and connections made under his leadership continue to support a wide array of institutional priorities.
MacGibbon has served in leadership roles with a variety of mining companies, including Torex Gold Resources, INV Metals and TMAC Resources. He has been a strong advocate for more progressive approaches to mining, including creating more opportunities for women to enter the industry, particularly at the executive level. He is a member of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame and has received many other prestigious awards over the course of his career.
Over his five-decade-long career, Goodman, Founder of Dundee Corporation, earned a reputation as one of Canada’s most astute and respected investment leaders. A trained geologist, Goodman successfully financed many of the country’s most successful junior mining companies whose operations created jobs for thousands of people in Northern Ontario and around the country. He and his family have made some of the most significant private philanthropic investments in Canadian history, including multi-million dollar gifts to support healthcare and education. In 2012, the Goodman Family made a transformational gift to support Laurentian’s excellence in mining related education, and created the Goodman School of Mines.
In recognition of his charitable endeavors and the many contributions he has made in strengthening the national economy, Goodman was named as a member of the Order of Canada in 2016. He was inducted into the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame in 2012, as well as the IIAC Investment Industry Hall of Fame in 2017.