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: May 13, 1960
Discipline / contribution: university administration ; international service
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor:Degree received: Doctor of Civil Law
I present to you a distinguished Canadian, Dr. Norman Archibald MacRae MacKenzie, President of the University of British Columbia.
After the fine Gaelic ring of this introduction it will not surprise you to learn that he was born in Nova Scotia and received his early education in Pictou Academy. In his early ‘teens he joined his older brothers in Saskatchewan, and for five years lived on a homestead near Qu’Appelle, an experience which developed his physique, if it did not establish his financial fortunes, and which left him with an enduring interest in this province.
Going overseas in the first World War, he twice earned the Military Medal and then returned to Halifax for his Arts and Laws degrees at Dalhousie, followed by postgraduate years at Harvard and Cambridge. Later he served for two years in Geneva as Legal Adviser with the International Labor Office, an appointment which, I suspect, has deeply influenced him ever since and has prompted his life long interest in the interplay of social forces both in Canada and abroad, in international law, and in international affairs generally.
Certainly, as a professor of law for thirteen years in the University of Toronto, and as a university president for the past twenty years, first at the University of New Brunswick and since l944 at the University of British Columbia, he has constantly offered strong leadership in efforts to promote the national development of Canada and to encourage the more active participation of Canadians in major international movements.
He has travelled extensively in America, Europe, Asia and Australia as a university lecturer and as a representative of Canada in many capacities, and at home he has held high office in a number of significant organizations. To mention only the more important, he has been honorary chairman (and a founding member) of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, Chairman of the Wartime Information Board, a member of the Royal Commission on National Development in the Arts, Letters and Sciences, President of the National Conference of Canadian Universities, of the Canadian Association for Adult Education, of the Canadian National Commission for UNESCO, a member of the Canada Council, and a Trustee of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Under his vigorous and enterprising direction the University of British Columbia has become in recent years the second largest university in this country and has developed a number of distinguished and dynamic departments not matched in reputation elsewhere in Canada.
In short, no educator of this generation has served Canada more widely, and more energetically, more consistently, and more effectively that Dr. MacKenzie, on which account, Eminent Chancellor, I now ask you to confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: J.F. Leddy, Dean of Arts and Science
Return to main list: by date | by name