UBC honours Okanagan senator
Ross Fitzpatrick received an honorary doctoral degree during Thursday’s convocation ceremony at the University of B.C.’s Okanagan campus.
Fitzpatrick, a retired member of the Canadian Senate, was born to a pioneering Okanagan agricultural family, a tradition that carries on today with a variety of business interests.
Upon graduating from UBC with a commerce and business administration degree, he was a researcher for the Royal Commission into the Tree Fruit Industry of B.C.
Following completion of this, Fitzpatrick worked in the B.C. tree fruits industry and pursued post-graduate studies at the University of Maryland and Columbia University. He later embarked on an entrepreneurial career founding businesses in the aerospace, oil and gas and mining industries in both Canada and the U.S.
In the 1980s, he returned to the Okanagan to promote value-added agriculture, founding CedarCreek Estate Winery and pioneering the planting of vinifera grapes to produce quality wines.
He served in the Senate, representing the Okanagan, from 1998 to 2008.