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 22, 1977
Discipline / contribution: agricultural sector advocacy
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Alexander Mclnnes Runciman.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Mr. Runciman was born in 1914 at Invergordon, Scotland. At age 14 he arrived with his parents to farm at Balcarres, Saskatchewan. In 1940 he went overseas with the Royal Canadian Ordinance Corp. served in Great Britain, North Africa, Sicily and Italy, returned to Canada as a Warrant Officer I in 1945, was discharged and returned to farming at Abernethy. In 1948 he married Marjorie Evelyn Dick and they have two daughters, Dorothy and Catherine.
On special occasions such as this there is always some apprehension lest the candidate, through some unforseen event, should fail to appear. We are especially grateful today because Mr. Runciman nearly missed this honor as a result of his parents being shipwrecked while on their honeymoon!
In addition to operating a successful grain and beef cattle farm, 'Mac' was active in community affairs as a municipal councillor, school secretary, 4-H club leader and in local Boards of the United Grain Growers.
In 1961 he was elected President of United Grain Growers and moved with his family to Winnipeg, while retaining the Abernethy farm. Subsequently and while fully discharging his duties with UGG, the name A.M. Runciman appeared as member, director, president, governor, chairman, vice-president, councillor, or trustee of a long and impressive list of organizations. These include the Canadian Wheat Board, Canadian Federation of Agriculture, Rapeseed Association of Canada, Science Council of Canada, Agricultural Economics Research Council, Economic Council of Canada, International Wheat Agreement and the International Federation of Agriculture. For his contributions he has been awarded two Centennial medals and other honors including the distinction of being Honorary Chief Flying Eagle of the Blackfoot. Mr. Runciman is one of Western Canada's most influential farm leaders and spokesman. This status derives from his keen insight and objectivity, his extensive knowledge of the complex agricultural scene, his scholarly approach to problem solving and program development and his unchallenged talent for leading toward resolution of their problems.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Alexander Mclnnes Runciman and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: J.M. Bell
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