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 16, 1986
Discipline / contribution: history - medieval ; history - English reformation
Citation / biographical information:
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Council and Senate, I present to you JamesDegree received: Doctor of Laws
Dr. McConica was born in Luseland, Saskatchewan. Following the receipt of the Governor General's medal on high school graduation, he attended the University of Saskatchewan, receiving the B.A. degree with High Honors in History and Philosophy in 1951 and was named Rhodes Scholar for that year.
His academic achievements at this University marked the beginning of an outstanding scholarly career. At Oxford he obtained a first-class degree in Honors School of Modern History and subsequently completed his doctoral work there in 1963. He returned to Saskatoon as a member of our department of History in 1956. In 1962 he resigned his post here to study for the Priesthood and entered the novitiate of the Basilian Fathers in Toronto. He was ordained a priest in 1968.
Father McConica became a Fellow of the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies in 1967 and Professor of History at the University of Toronto in l976. From 1973 to 1976 he was Associate Director and Academic Secretary of the Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto. During 1977 he was James Ford Special Lecturer in the University of Oxford. In 1984 he was appointed president and vice-chancellor of the University of St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto.
His reputation as a Tudor historian was established with the publication in 1965 of English Humanists and Reformation Politics, a controversial study which stressed the influence of conciliatory and non-doctrinaire ideas on the course of the early English reformation. He has since published widely in the field of Renaissance humanism and Tudor intellectual history, and in 1977 was invited by Her Majesty's Stationery Office to write a short history of St. Thomas More for the anniversary celebrations in that year. He was also appointed to prepare the third volume of the official history of Oxford. That volume will be published by the Oxford University Press in June.
In addition to his regular duties, Dr. McConica has been involved in a number of academic projects of national and international importance. Since 1975 he has been Chairman of the Editorial Board of the Collected Works of Erasmus, the largest of the major editorial projects funded by SSHRC. As well, he has also been elected to the editorial board of the critical edition of the works of Erasmus published under the auspices of the Royal Dutch Academy and the international Union of Academics. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1964, and has been the holder of several substantial research grants from SSHRC, a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Killam Senior Research Scholarship.
It is with a great deal of pleasure that I welcome President McConica back to the University of Saskatchewan on this occasion.
Mr. Chancellor, I present to you James Kelsey McConica and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Art Knight, Dean of Arts and Science
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