Capilano University announces 2024 honorary degree recipients and faculty emeritus honourees

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Elder Latash-Maurice Nahanee, one of five Honorary Degree recipients recognized by Capilano University in spring 2024.

News release: Capilano University announces 2024 honorary degree recipients & faculty emeritus (PDF) 

North Vancouver B.C. May 2, 2024 – Capilano University (CapU) is pleased to announce the university will be honouring five exemplary individuals with an honorary doctorate degree and three esteemed colleagues with the title of faculty emeritus at the spring 2024 convocation ceremonies taking place June 5–7, 2024.

The honorary doctorate is CapU’s highest form of recognition; it is given to people who have made significant contributions to others through their work or voluntary pursuits. Faculty Emeritus is a title awarded to faculty retirees who have provided outstanding service to the University and their discipline.

This year CapU is pleased to recognize and honour to following individuals:

Honorary Doctorate Recipients

Alex Cuba, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa
Juno and Grammy award winning Cuban-Canadian singer-songwriter

Debra Doucette, OBC, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
President & CEO, Odlum Brown Limited

Raymond Heung, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
President, Vanac Development Corp.; Co-founder and Trustee, Y.P. Heung Foundation

Elder Latash-Maurice Nahanee, Doctor of Letters, honoris causa
Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation Elder, Capilano University Elders' Circle

Lisa Wolverton, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa
Co-Owner, Pacific Investment Corporation; President, Forward Global Canada & Wolverton Family Foundation

Faculty Emeritus Recipients

Crystal Hurdle, Faculty Emeritus 
English, Faculty of Arts & Sciences

Graham Fane, Faculty Emeritus 
Faculty of Business & Professional Studies

Nancy McMaster, Faculty Emeritus (Posthumous) 
Music Therapy, Faculty of Education, Health & Human Development


Alex Cuba, honorary degree recipient 

A highly respected international recording artist, Cuba is a Grammy/Latin Grammy and Juno award winning singer-songwriter and producer with a long connection to CapU. In 2001, the BlueShore at CapU presented his Vancouver debut concert as a solo artist, as part of the North Shore Jazz Series and the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. His music reflects an ongoing exploration of Cuban roots mixed with global influences, a testament to his creativity and dedication to crafting fresh, soulful compositions.

Debra Doucette, honorary degree recipient

As the leader of a prominent Vancouver-based investment firm, Doucette is known for her vision, passion and dedication to clients and the additional organizations she serves as an active board member. Doucette joined Odlum Brown in 1991 and became chief operating officer and today the president and CEO. She currently sits on the board of directors for UBC alumni (past chair), Providence Health Care, Drug Free Kids Canada and the Canadian Investment Regulatory Organization (CIRO), and served as the industry director and chair of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund.

Raymond Heung, honorary degree recipient

Guided by his father’s values of hard work, honesty, honour and humility, Heung established and grew his position in Vancouver’s real estate development circles and became a leader in his field. Over the past 50 years, he has served, founded and led companies that have helped Vancouver’s commercial real estate reach where it is today. Together with his wife Terry, Heung is trustee of the trustee of the Y. P. Heung Foundation that honours his father’s legacy, and supports health, education and arts and culture initiatives.

Elder Latash-Maurice Nahanee, honorary degree recipient

Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation Elder Latash-Maurice Nahanee epitomizes a life dedicated to cultural preservation, education and reconciliation. As a CapU alum with a bachelor in English literature (SFU), Elder Latash worked as a journalist and later became CEO of the Native Communications Society of BC. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to establish PR firm All Write Productions and Latash Native Arts, a company selling Indigenous art and providing cross-cultural workshops. Not only is he a long-time member of CapU’s Elders’ Circle, Elder Latash is part of the fabric of CapU; he mentors Indigenous students and actively participates in campus life. His involvement was pivotal in guiding Chén̓chenstway, a living document outlining CapU's journey of reconciliACTION and learning.

Lisa Wolverton, honorary degree recipient

Supporting opportunities for arts education is important for Lisa Wolverton. As co-owner of Pacific Investment Corporation and leader of the Wolverton Foundation, she dedicates her energy to creating greater access to the arts and facilitating artistic programs for children who would otherwise be excluded from these opportunities. The Foundation has provided a physical space for the Sarah McLachlan School of Music for over a decade. A passionate advocate for youth, Lisa has served on the board of directors of The Fuller Project, UNICEF Canada and Family Services of the North Shore; and has been involved with the Loran Scholarship Foundation of Canada, the Council of Advocates for the Freedom Fund and the President’s Council of the International Crisis Group.

Photos and more information on the 2024 Honorary Degree Recipients

Crystal Hurdle, faculty emeritus

Writer, poet and English Literature instructor Crystal Hurdle began teaching English at CapU in 1985 and served students and the university in a variety of leadership roles until her retirement in 2020. Between curriculum development, teaching, writing and serving as a member of the Capilano Press Society Board for The Capilano Review – her dedication to students and colleagues was evident throughout. A published author, her poetry books include, After Ted & Sylvia and Sick Witch, and Teacher’s Pets, a novel in verse. Hurdle’s poetry and prose have been published in Canadian Literature, The Literary Review of Canada, Event, Bogg, Vallum, Transverse, Ars Medica and The Dalhousie Review. In retirement, Hurdle’s passion for English literature carries on through her involvement as a writing mentor to writing students with the Writers Union of Canada, Canadian Artists Network, League of Canadian Poets and at the Silver Harbour Seniors' Centre.

Graham Fane, faculty emeritus

A 30-year member of the faculty of Business and Professional Studies, Fane began as an instructor and later served as the dean overseeing the School of Business, paralegal studies and communications departments. During his years at CapU, he created 400-level curricula and authored two textbooks on strategic planning and contemporary business management. Through his leadership, CapU developed and introduced new degrees in the paralegal and communications programs, and became the first Canadian university accredited by the Northwest Commission of Colleges and Universities. In addition to his work with CapU, Fane consulting practice in strategic management has provided training and guidance to over 10,000 business managers.

Nancy McMaster, Faculty Emeritus (Posthumous)

Nancy McMaster was a Canadian pioneer in the field of music therapy. She is the co-founder of Canada’s first music therapy training program in 1976 at Capilano University. Until her retirement in 2022, McMaster was a champion for the program, taking it from a two-year diploma to a bachelor’s degree in 1990, marking CapU’s first degree offering. As a founding director and board member for the Music Therapy Association of BC, McMaster was instrumental in establishing national undergraduate curriculum standards in the early years of the organization. Beyond academics, McMaster was a musician who played and recorded music, and was a member of several choral ensembles in her community.

Photos and more information on the 2024 Faculty Emeritus honorees

About Capilano University

Capilano University is a regional university based in North Vancouver, British Columbia, with additional programming serving the Sunshine Coast and the Sea-to-Sky corridor. With industry-leading instructors, small classes and over 100 programs across five distinctive faculties, CapU is a unique place where students are encouraged to make their mark, in and out of the classroom. Capilano University is named after Sa7plek (Chief Joe Capilano), an important leader of the Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nation of the Coast Salish Peoples. We respectfully acknowledge that our campuses and are located on the territories of the LíỈwat, xʷməθkʷəỷəm (Musqueam), shíshálh (Sechelt), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and SəỈílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

For more information, or to schedule interviews, please contact: 

Linda Munro
Senior Advisor, Public Affairs
Capilano University
t: 604 220 8937
e: lindamunro@capilanou.ca

Submitted by: Communications