École Polytechnique de Montréal honours one of its alumna during the December
6 commemorative ceremony

MONTREAL, Dec. 6 /CNW Telbec/ - On the recommendation of École Polytechnique de Montréal, Université de Montréal today granted a degree honoris causa to Lili-Anna Pereša, who graduated from Polytechnique in 1987.

Profoundly touched by the tragedy of December 6, 1989, which took the lives of 14 Polytechnique women students, Ms. Pereša made an important decision that same year to devote herself to major humanitarian projects, in order to achieve her original goals when she embarked on her engineering studies. Her humanitarian odyssey has taken her around the world, from Malawi to Croatia, Burkina Faso, Bosnia-Herzegovina, France and Québec. Executive Director of UNICEF Québec until just recently, she is currently Executive Director of ONE DROP.

This honour was awarded during the December 6 commemorative ceremony held today at Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal where, through personal accounts and songs, the memory of the 14 women who lost their lives was honoured, and members of the Polytechnique community were acknowledged for the courage, solidarity and dedication they have shown over the past 20 years.

Biographical notes

With a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Polytechnique in 1987, Lili-Anna Pereša started her professional career at Bell Canada. The December 6, 1989, tragedy inspired her to become involved in humanitarian work. In 1990, she left to teach in Malawi. She continued her humanitarian experience in Burkina Faso, with Oxfam-Québec. In 1994, she co-ordinated emergency aid projects during the armed conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia as Chef de Mission for CARE Austria. The following year, as a consultant in Burkina Faso, she developed projects to promote leadership by women. On her return to Québec, she worked as Executive Director of Les petits frères des Pauvres, then served in the same capacity at the YWCA Montréal. She also obtained a graduate diploma in management from McGill University. Appointed Executive Director of Amnesty International France, she spent three years in Paris and completed a master's degree in political science at the Sorbonne. In 2007, she returned to Québec as Executive Director of UNICEF Québec. Ms. Pereša has been Executive Director of ONE DROP since earlier this year.

About the degree honoris causa

The degree honoris causa is granted by Université de Montréal on the recommendation of the Board of Directors and Academic Board of École Polytechnique de Montréal. This honorary degree underscores the exceptional achievements of a person of national or international renown. Lili-Anna Pereša is the first woman to receive the honour on Polytechnique's recommendation.

About École Polytechnique de Montréal

Founded in 1873, École Polytechnique de Montréal is one of Canada's leading engineering institutions in terms of both teaching and research. It is the largest engineering school in Québec in terms of the size of its student body and the scope of its research activities. École Polytechnique provides instruction in 12 engineering specialties and is responsible for more than one-quarter of Québec's university research in engineering. The school has 230 professors and more than 6,000 students. It has an annual operating budget of $85 million, in addition to a $68-million research and infrastructure fund that includes $38 million worth of grants and contracts.

Photo available on request.

Ms. Pereša will be available for interviews following the ceremony. Please note, however, that she will be out of the country from December 7 to 16. For interviews after then, call 514 723-7646, ext. 6184.

SOURCE Polytechnique Montréal

For further information: For further information: Communications and Recruitment Office, École Polytechnique de Montréal, (514) 340-4915, Cell: (514) 231-8133, communications@polymtl.ca

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