All About Alumni / Winter 2008
Elizabeth Hay Wins Giller Prize

Scientist grads awarded honorary degrees, inducted into National Women’s Hall of Fame


Elizabeth Hay (BA 1973 VIC) was named the 2007 winner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her novel Late Nights on Air (McClelland & Stewart). The novel follows a cast of eccentric characters who work at a radio station in the Canadian North during the summer of 1975. The $40,000 award is the largest annual prize for fiction in Canada.

Biochemist Bruce Alberts and public-health nurse Verna Huffman Splane received honorary degrees from U of T in November. Alberts, who served as president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, developed landmark national science education standards. He is a professor in the department of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco, and cochair of the InterAcademy Council. Splane (CPHN 1939) has been a consultant to the World Health Organization and was appointed Canada’s first principal nursing officer, the highest office accorded any nurse in the country. She is a lecturer at the University of British Columbia and University of Victoria.

Judith Pipher (BSc 1962 VIC) has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York, for her contributions to the field of infrared astronomy. Pipher is a professor emeritus of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester. In 2003, NASA launched the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is equipped with infrared detectors that Pipher helped design.

Bernard Amadei (MASc 1979) is a co-recipient of the $250,000 Heinz Award for the Environment. Amadei is the founder of Engineers Without Borders – USA, a non-profit organization that helps improve the quality of life for people in poverty-stricken areas throughout the world.


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