Two graduates from Ryerson University’s School of Journlism, one a retired judge and the other, a partner in a public relations agency, are among seven outstanding leaders who will receive honorary doctorates at the university’s Spring convocation on June 21.
The two journalism graduates – Gregory Regis and Donette Chin Loy Chang – are from Toronto’s Caribbean community.
Regis worked as a journalist in his native St. Lucia and in Canada and later pursued a career in law.
After graduating from Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, he took up the position of assistant crown attorney in Durham (Oshawa) before his appointment to the Ontario Court of Justice in 1999.
The first Saint Lucian to serve as a judge in Canada, Regis was appointed Regional Senior Justice for the Central East Region in 2007. He was the first non-white person to hold the office and completed the maximum two terms in 2013. Now retired, he continues to serve as a judge part-time.
Appointed a Ryerson distinguished visiting professor in 2017, Regis is a former member of the Black Community Consultative Committee of the Toronto Police Services Board. As a volunteer, he has held leadership positions with numerous groups, including the Caribbean Cultural Committee and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation.
Jamaica-born Donette Chin-Loy Chang worked as a reporter and producer for CBC Radio after she graduated from Ryerson, and later joined the public relations firm Ruder Finn & Rotman as a consultant.
In 1990, she founded Donette Chin-Loy and Associates in the Caribbean and is now a partner in La Grassa Chin-Loy Communications, a Toronto-based public relations agency.
Chin Loy Chang ,the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of the West Indies, is also a board member of the BlackNorth Initiative and an advisory board member of the Onyx Initiative. She also serves on the National Coalition of Canadians Against Asian Racism Committee.
The five others who will receive honorary doctorates at the university’s Spring convocation are Mitch Frazer, a partner and the chair of the Pensions and Employment Practice at Torys LLP, and a former chairman of the Ryerson Board of Governors, Malala Yousafzai, an activist for girls’ education and Nobel peace prize laureate (2014), civil engineer Silvio De Gasperis, president and chief executive officer of the TACC Group, Anishinabe journalist and author Tanya Talaga and Emmanuelle Gattuso, a member of the board of trustees of the Art Gallery of Ontario