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April 18, 2005
CONTACT: Ward Mullens

734.487.4400
ward.mullens@emich.edu

EMU to award honorary awards to Josaitis, Canter at commencement April 23

YPSILANTI - Eastern Michigan University will award Eleanor Josaitis, co-founder of Focus: HOPE, and David Canter, senior vice president of Pfizer Global Research and Development, with honorary doctoral degrees at commencement ceremonies Saturday, April 23, at the Convocation Center.

Commencement ceremonies for the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Technology begin at 10:30 a.m. Doors open at 9 a.m. Ceremonies for the College of Business, College of Education, and College of Health and Human Services begin at 2 p.m. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

Josaitis will be honored during the morning ceremony, while Canter will be given his honorary degree at the afternoon ceremony. Approximately 2,500 students are eligible to walk during the two ceremonies. Seven doctorates also will be awarded.

Josaitis is the chief executive officer of Focus: HOPE, which she co-founded with Father William T. Cunningham (1930-1997) in 1967. The metropolitan civil and human rights organization works to eliminate racism, poverty and injustice primarily by accessing individuals to the financial mainstream. Since its establishment in 1968, Focus: HOPE has grown to more than 550 colleagues supported by 51,000 volunteers.

            Josaitis has provided leadership and advocacy since 1971 for Focus: HOPE’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program for mothers, children and senior citizens. She has made important contributions to public awareness of hunger and malnutrition, to the formulation of national policy and responsible legislation, and to effective program management. She chaired the Commodity Supplemental Food Program Steering Committee and hosted the White House Conference on Aging.

Josaitis has played a major role in the development of Focus: HOPE’s internationally recognized Centers of Opportunity education and training programs. These include First Step, FAST TRACK, Machinist Training Institute, Center for Advanced Technologies and Information Technologies Center. The organization’s Center for Children offers early childhood education, infant and toddler care, and a before/after school program.

            A surgeon by training, Canter joined the Clinical Research Department of Warner-Lambert in 1984 in the United Kingdom, and moved to Ann Arbor in 1986. He became the senior director of cardiovascular clinical development in 1989 and vice president of drug development in 1992.

            From 1997 through 2000, Canter was director of the Institut de Recherché et Development, Jouveinal in Paris. He was the project leader for the development of Lipitor from early phase two through the product launch.

            Before joining Warner-Lambert, Canter worked in the National Health Service in England. He is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (London) and a member of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Physicians.

            Canter earned a bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery degree from Liverpool University, and a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from Cambridge University.

Tickets are available through the Convocation Center box office (734.487.2282). All guests must have a ticket to be admitted. Handicapped seating is available and there will be a signer to aid those with a hearing impairment.

Erik Pedersen, professor of physical education, and Thomas Gwaltney, professor of teacher education, will serve as grand marshals for the morning and afternoon ceremonies, respectively.

            Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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