The University of New Brunswick Saint John will award one honorary degree to an outstanding individual during its 39th Spring Convocation ceremony on May 31, 2013.

Honorary Degree

Anne Marie McGrath has devoted her entire life to education. Beginning her career as a classroom teacher, she moved to the office of the Superintendent where she served for close to 20 years in an administrative role.  McGrath then served for eight years as Superintendent.

Having received Bachelors and Masters of Education degrees from UNB, she has influenced educational provincial policies through her involvement on numerous boards and committees including the Provincial Curriculum Advisory Committee; the Minister’s Advisory Committee on French Second Language Education; the Canadian College of Teachers; the American Association of School Administrators and many others.

As a dedicated volunteer in many community organizations including New Lease Inc., the Boys and Girls Club of Saint John, and the South End Daycare, as well as through active participation on university curriculum review committees, Dean’s Advisory Committees, UNB Saint John Senate and the UNB Board of Governors, McGrath has worked tirelessly to promote education within the City of Saint John and throughout the province.

McGrath was awarded a UNB Alumni Award of Distinction in 2006, which recognizes the significant contributions made by UNB Alumni in their local communities and beyond.

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Ramesh Prasad will be honoured with the rank of Professor Emeritus of Engineering at UNB Saint John’s Spring Convocation Ceremony on May 31.

Dr. Prasad has dedicated 30 years of service, teaching and research to UNB Saint John’s Department of Engineering.  He actively participated in graduate teaching and supervision of Masters and PhD students, as well as serving on the examining advisory committee for graduate students.

Widely recognized for his research success, Dr. Prasad maintained continuous NSERC support from 1984 to 2009.  As a result, a research facility has been established on the Saint John campus with some highly specialized capabilities. He has the only transient hot-wire instrument based lab in Canada for the measurement of thermal properties.

His publication record includes 30 refereed journal papers, 44 refereed conference papers/abstracts, and 16 additional reports and publications.

Dr. Prasad has served in numerous administrative capacities and, in all cases, exhibited a steady and effective leadership. Some of his more notable roles were as Acting Chair of the Physical Sciences Department in 2002 and the Department of Engineering in both 1995 and 2003. He was Chair of the Engineering Department from 2004-2007.

The professor emeritus distinction is awarded only to retired faculty members. Criteria for the honorary rank include teaching performance of exceptional merit, extensive research and publication of unusually high quality, creative contributions to the administration and development of the university, and a record of professional conduct that indicates fair and ethical treatment of students and other members of the academic community.


Laurett Nwaonumah, of Nigeria, will address the Class of 2013 as Valedictorian. An honours student, she is graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in biology-psychology.

While at UNB Saint John, she has been a dean’s list student each year, a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society and a Graduating Student Leadership Award recipient. Nwaonumah was the president of the Multicultural Society and its former promotions coordinator and Vice President.

A track athlete with UNB Saint John’s Varsity Reds program, Nwaonumah is an active volunteer, both on campus and off including the Student Mentor Program at Hazen-White/St. Francis School. Nwaonumah is planning on pursuing a career in healthcare.

Admittance by ticket only. Learn more about UNB Saint John’s Spring Convocation ceremony.

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