St. Francis Xavier University will bestow honorary degrees on Kevin William Concannon and Gordie Sampson during Fall Convocation taking place on Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at 3 p.m. at the Charles V. Keating Centre.
Mr. Concannon, a StFX alumnus and Portland, Maine native, has helped millions of people through programs and policies he’s administered and developed. Since 2009, he’s served as Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services in the United States Department of Agriculture, overseeing all federal food and nutrition programs. Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Concannon, who has a masters’ degree in social work, has also served as Director of State Health and Human Services departments in Maine, Oregon, and Iowa.
Gordie Sampson of Big Pond, Cape Breton—described as a musical genius in writing, music production, and musicianship—is a role model and inspiration to many. A Grammy award-winning songwriter, he now resides and writes in Nashville, a mecca for gifted performers, where his songs have been covered by Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts – to name a few. He returns to his beloved Cape Breton each summer and to perform in the Maritimes. Along with a Grammy, he’s won two JUNOs, a Nashville Songwriters’ Association Award, a Canadian Country Music Award, and numerous East Coast Music Awards. Generous of spirit and talent, in 2010, he started The Gordie Sampson Songcamp to give young songwriters the opportunity to develop their skills, build relationships with peers, and promote learning in pursuit of artistic excellence. A brilliant writer, innovative producer, dynamic on-stage presence, and now mentor to emerging writers, his musical genius and generosity is applauded by audiences and industry alike.
During the ceremony, more than 200 degrees and diplomas will be conferred, in addition to 36 diplomas awarded to graduates of the StFX Coady International Institute.
A Community Partner Recognition Award will be presented to a community partner who has made a significant and sustained contribution to the growth and development of educational opportunities at StFX. As well, an Outreach Award will be given to a university faculty or staff member who has demonstrated a long and consistent involvement in activities that have served the Nova Scotia community.
For the full press release, please visit the St. FX University website.