Professor emerita Mary Law, who was pivotal in the advancement of academic rehabilitation science in Canada, has received an honorary degree from McMaster University at the fall convocation for the Faculty of Health Sciences.
While at McMaster from 1987 to 2015, she was co-founder of CanChild, a national, multi-disciplinary research centre which changed the approach to child disability research to include their families. Her work influenced the World Health Organization's International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health.
In 2001, she became the inaugural holder of the endowed John and Margaret Lillie Chair in Childhood Disability Research.
From 2000 to 2010, as the associate dean, health sciences (rehabilitation), she established the School of Rehabilitation Science as a premier school, quintupling its research mandate while adding innovative programs including McMaster's first online master's degree.
Called 'an icon of her profession' and noted for her determination, she had previously received a lifetime award from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy, become a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences, and an officer of the Order of Canada.
"Mary Law has had an important impact on the development of academic rehabilitation science and, in particular, on involving families in research on childhood disability," said Paul O'Byrne, dean and vice-president of the Faculty of Health Sciences. "This impact has been on a national and international level, and we're proud she has received this very appropriate honour from McMaster."
At the other McMaster convocation, Eva Egron-Polak received an honorary doctorate. She served as the secretary general of the International Association of Universities from 2002-2017, and held various senior positions at Universities Canada (formerly the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada for two decades, culminating in the position of vice-president, international programs.