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Ryerson to award honorary doctorates to judge, entrepreneur 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 @ 10:37 AM | By John Chunn


As part of this year’s fall convocation ceremonies, Ryerson University will recognize the careers of Judge Maryka Omatsu and entrepreneur Sajjad Ebrahim with honorary doctorate degrees.

According to Ryerson’s press release, Judge Omatsu, a member of the Order of Ontario, was named to the Ontario Court of Justice in 1993, becoming the first woman of East Asian heritage to be appointed a judge in Canada.

She is the inaugural recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers, and in 2013, she became the first Canadian to receive the Trailblazer Award from the United States-based National Asian Pacific Bar Association. She was recently named to the special advisory council of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation and appointed co-chair of National Association of Japanese Canadians’ (NAJC) redress campaign. Omatsu also played a key role in achieving redress for the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War. In the 1980s, she served as legal counsel for the NAJC and was a member of the organization’s strategy and negotiation team.

Omatsu will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree on Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m.

In 1977, Ebrahim immigrated to Canada and bought Par Pak Limited, a 20-employee company that manufactured plastic food containers. When he sold Par Pak in 2013, it had 900 employees, with an annual revenue topping $200 million. He has won multiple business and leadership awards and is a member of the board of overseers for Columbia Business School, founder and president of the board of directors for Crescent Village, a not-for-profit housing complex in Richmond Hil, and is the principal supporter of the Society for the Prevention and Cure of Blindness in Pakistan. Ebrahim sponsored 20 Syrian refugee families through Ryerson University, helped raise $1 million for Brampton Civic Hospital and in 2015, donated $2.5 million to the urgent care centre at Peel Memorial Centre for Integrated Health and Wellness.

Ebrahim will receive an honorary doctor of laws degree on Oct. 17 at 10:30 a.m.

All ceremonies will take place at the Mattamy Athletic Centre at 50 Carlton St., Toronto.