N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as
the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may
be available at the University Archives.
Convocation date: November 25, 1961
Discipline / contribution: nuclear research ; military service
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the University Council and Senate, I present James Lorne Gray.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Gray was born in 1913 in Brandon, Manitoba, received his primary education in Winnipeg and his high school education in Saskatoon. He graduated from this University in 1935 with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and received his Master’s degree in 1938. Besides his sound academic record he proved to be an able demonstrator and lecturer.
Not only an excellent student, he was a first class athlete, and is still a top notch golfer. His particular forte was hockey. He played here on the Junior Quakers and the Varsity teams. While employed in Peterborough in 1938 he again got involved in hockey and ably demonstrated the Western approach, unfortunately at the cost of a couple of broken ribs and other injuries,
His interest and connection with the Royal Canadian Air Force dates back to the year of his graduation when he jointed the Reserve and obtained his pilot’s wings. At the outbreak of war in 1939 on enlistment he was commissioned in the Air Engineering Branch of the R.C.A.F. but was later transferred to the Navigation Branch. His background and ability resulted in his employment on operational training, and subsequently staff assignments at Vancouver and Air Force Headquarters, Ottawa. These duties took him on two occasions to Britain and several times to the United States. In January 1945 Wing Commander Gray was mentioned in dispatches.
On demobilization he obtained responsible posts first with the Department of Reconstruction and Supply and later in industry. In 1948 his former teacher and former Dean of Engineering here, Dr. J. C. MacKenzie, then President of the National Research Council, appointed Gray his Scientific Assistant and the following year Chief of Administration, Chalk River Project. In 1952 he became General Manager, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited; 1954 Vice-President Administration and Operations; and, in 1958 the post he now holds, President, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.
Though experienced in design and development he has made his reputation in the field of administration of scientific and development projects, and he is widely known in the international field of nuclear power. A sister University, the University of British Columbia, earlier this year recognized his worth with an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree.
This outstanding career for a man on the lower side of fifty is due to an excellent mind, courage, arid a facility for quick, sound, and sane decisions, and a deep knowledge and ability to get along with people.
I have the honour to present to you, Eminent Chancellor, James Lorne Gray, and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: J.B. Mawdsley, Dean of Engineering
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