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 6, 1965
Discipline / contribution: northern research ; anthropology
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the University Council and Senate, I present to you Diamond Jenness, a man as large in intellectual accomplishment as he is diminutive in physical stature. A native of New Zealand, Dr. Jenness was educated there and at Balliol College. Upon graduating as a Bachelor of Arts from Oxford in 1911 he led an anthropological expedition to New Guinea sponsored by that university. In 1913, as an ethnologist with the Canadian Arctic Expedition headed by Vilhjalmur Stefansson, he commenced his study of the aborigines of northern North America, to which he has devoted most of his life since and for which he is greatly and justly renowned. This career was interrupted in 1917, however, by service in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, in which he had his ups and downs, holding the ranks of gunner, corporal, gunner and acting lance-corporal -- in that order, Fortunately he fared better and better use was made of his talents in the second world war, when he served as Deputy Director of Intelligence for the RCAF and then as Chief of the Inter-Service Topographical Section, Department of National Defence.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
In 1919 Dr. Jenness joined the National Museum of Canada as an ethnologist and seven years later became Chief of its Anthropological Section, in which capacity he represented this country at important international scientific conferences. The fruits of his research into the life of the Eskimos and Indians are to be found in the many books, articles and reviews of which he is the author and which have earned him recognition as a foremost authority. He has been president of the American Anthropological Association and the Society of American Archaeologists, vice—president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and is a member, fellow or honorary fellow of various other important learned bodies. He has been the recipient of honorary degrees in New Zealand and Canada and in 1962 was awarded the Massey Gold Medal of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate of this University, I ask that you confer on Diamond Jenness, a distinguished scholar and public servant, the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa’.
Degree presented by: W.R. Graham, professor of history
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