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Mr. William Lishman (1939-2017)

Doctor of Laws, honoris causa

One of Canada's great pioneers in a wide range of pursuits, William Lishman was the first person to foot-launch and land a powered rigid-wing aircraft in the 1970s. Taking advantage of the slow flight capabilities of his customized aircraft, he developed a technique to lead Canada geese in the air. After several years of research and experimentation, he successfully led a flock of 16 geese on a 650-kilometre migratory journey, which inspired the Oscar-nominated film Fly Away Home. Mr. Lishman has gone on to apply his migration techniques to safeguarding the whooping crane, one of the world's most endangered species. For his breakthrough work with migratory birds, Mr. Lishman has received numerous awards including the prestigious honour of the Meritorious Service Medal from the Canadian government in 2000. In addition, Mr. Lishman is an internationally celebrated sculptor and renowned inventor/designer of furniture and underground architecture. His work includes Autohenge, a full-scale replica of Stonehenge, and his dome-shaped, underground home with its unique features and energy-efficient designs.

William Lishman passed away in December 2017 at the age of 78.