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 26, 1988
Discipline / contribution: education ; community service
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Dr. Fred Gathercole, educator and public-spirited citizen.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Dr. Gathercole was born at Broadview, Saskatchewan, the child of pioneer British parents. After elementary and secondary schooling in Broadview, he attended Regina Normal School and then pursued a career in education until he retired in 1973. In retirement he has added to his life-long interest in education a deep interest and considerable involvement in public health care. Throughout his life he has maintained an active participation in church and community. It is for his outstanding contributions to education and the community that we wish to honour Dr. Gathercole. Most regrettably, Dr. Gathercole's wife, Dorothy, passed away on Tuesday of this week. Dorothy and Fred have one daughter, Judith Ann, now Mrs, Lambie, and she and her husband have three children.
Dr. Gathercole obtained the Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Mathematics from Queens' University, Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degrees from the University of Manitoba, and a Doctor o-f Education degree from the University of Toronto. He conducted further post-graduate studies in Education at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.
He began his career as a teacher of Grades 1 to 10 in a multi-graded rural school; served as principal of a two-room hamlet school, and as vice-principal and principal in Regina city elementary schools; acted as an instructor in the Regina and Saskatoon Teachers' Colleges, and as visiting instructor at the University of Saskatchewan. He ended his professional career as Director of Education for the Saskatoon Public Schools, Dr. Gathercole was named the Saskatchewan School Administrator of the Year by the Saskatchewan Council on Educational Administration, and the Saskatoon Public Board of Education named its offices the Dr. F.J. Gathercole Education Centre.
Dr. Gathercole's contributions to education have extended beyond the act of teaching students and administering schools. First, he was a very active member of many professional associations. He served on the Board of Directors and was chairman of the Research Committee of the Canadian Education Association. He was national and provincial president of the Canadian Association of School Superintendents and Inspectors (later, the Canadian Association of School Administrators). He has been presented with an honorary life membership in the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation, the Canadian Education Association, and the Canadian Association of School Administrators.
Second, Dr. Gathercole has been appointed chairman or member of many studies or commissions. For the Federal Government, he headed the Canadian delegation to the UNESCO Conference on International Education in Paris. For the Saskatchewan Department of Education, he has conducted an "Evaluative Study of Divisions III and IV", served on the School Law Advisory Committee — the activities of which culminated in the writing of The Education Act. 1978, and completed two studies on teacher supply and demand. For the Saskatchewan Association for the Mentally Retarded, he studied the services available to the mentally handicapped persons in Saskatoon and region. For the Saskatchewan School Trustees' Association, he completed an "Evaluation of Saskatchewan School Law." The list goes on and on.
On the basis of his contributions to education alone, Dr. Gathercole would have been a worthy recipient of the honorary doctorate. However, he failed to understand the meaning of the word "retirement." After completing his educational career., Dr. Gathercole has served as chairman and member of the Saskatoon Region Community College Board, chairman of the Saskatchewan Alcoholism Commission, founding member and member of the board of directors of the Canadian Club of Saskatoon, member of the Board of Saskatchewan Association for the Mentally Retarded and chairman of their Legislation Committee, vice-chairman of the Saskatchewan Government Task Force on Services for the Elderly, member of the Saskatchewan Government Task Force on Rehabilitation, chairman and member of the University Hospital Board in Saskatoon — he is also serving as the chairman of the Board's Building and Planning Committee and member of the Foundation Board, member of the Saskatoon Hospitals' Planning Council, member of the Board of the Saskatchewan Health-Care Association, and most recently he was appointed to the Advisory Committee on Nursing Education. In addition. Dr. Gathercole has been a very active member of Grace-Westminster United Church and is currently serving as chairman of the Committee of Stewards, editor of the Church's bi-monthly newletter, and representative to the Saskatoon Presbytery. It is small wonder that Dr. Gathercole has been given the Saskatoon City Council Special Citizen Award and the Saskatoon Citizen of the Year Award.
We in the College of Education are particularly delighted that the University has chosen to honour Dr. Gathercole during the College's 60th Anniversary.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Dr. Fred Gathercole and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Murray Scharf, Dean of Education
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