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Alumna Julie Payette (ECE MASc 9T0) has been promoted to an officer of the Order of Canada, one of 74 new appointments announced on June 30 by Governor General Michaëlle Jean.

An astronaut with the Canadian Space Agency, Payette was described as “a source of inspiration and an international ambassador for engineering in Canada” in a news release. In 1999 Payette became the first Canadian to visit the International Space Station, travelling on the space shuttle Discovery, and a decade later she met another Canadian in space for the first time. She is the second Canadian woman to fly in outer space.

Payette was one of seven alumni of the University of Toronto honoured in the recent appointments, along with four faculty members.  The Order of Canada is the pinnacle of Canada’s honours system and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation. Founded in 1967, the Order has three levels of membership: companion, officer and member. Appointments are made on the recommendation of an advisory council chaired by the chief justice of Canada; the governor general is chancellor and principal companion.

Follow the links below to read articles on Julie Payette and the Order of Canada appointments:

Astronaut Julie Payette earns Order of Canada

Childhood dreams sent Payette into orbit 

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Fahad Pinto
Communications & Media Relations Strategist