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: October 15, 1977
Special Convocation: Jubilee Convocation, College of Education
Discipline / contribution: education ; community service
Citation / biographical information:
Mr. Vice-Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you William John Dolan.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
John would be the first to acknowledge that, in honouring him today, the University of Saskatchewan is recognizing the community service of those men and women in Saskatchewan, in Canada and indeed throughout the world, who have given unsparingly of their time in the interests of their mentally retarded fellow citizens. In a sense, therefore, John Dolan stands here as their representative.
But John Dolan is also here very much in his own right. He has done more than most and he has been doing it longer. It is now a quarter of a century since he became actively involved in developing services for mentally retarded persons in this province. In 1955 he became the founder-President of the Saskatoon Parents' Council for Retarded Children and he was one of the charter members of the Saskatchewan Association for the Mentally Retarded and of the Canadian Association for the Mentally Retarded. Coming closer to the University of Saskatchewan, he was instrumental in negotiating the establishment of the Alvin Buckwold Centre, the biochemical laboratory and the genetics laboratory at University Hospital.
Within the University community we distinguish between "earned degrees" and "honorary" degrees. Earned degrees call for the passing of written examinations and the successful defense of dissertations before a committee of one's peers. Outstanding service to the community is recognized by a University through the award of the honorary degree.
To have spent a significant proportion of one's life in advocating, establishing and implementing the rights of Canadian citizens is an outstanding example of just such a service. John's is a thoroughly earned honorary degree.
Mr. Vice-chancellor, I present to you William John Dolan and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: John McLeod
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