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, 1993
Discipline / contribution: livestock industry ; veterinary medicine
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Jack Alexander McPhedran, veterinarian.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Jack McPhedran was born in Stonewall, Manitoba, in 1924. World War II and a stint in the RCAF interrupted his high school education; however, he returned to his studies and went on to graduate as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1950. He immediately established a general veterinary practice in Neepawa, Manitoba, serving that community until 1967. After this he worked for Agriculture Canada for two years and then became Director of the Veterinary Services Branch of the Manitoba Department of Agriculture in 1969, a position he held for 22 years. During this time, his influence on the availability and quality of veterinary services was outstanding and it is in recognition of his contributions to animal agriculture in Western Canada that he is honored today.
When Jack McPhedran took over the Veterinary Services Branch, animal health care in rural Manitoba was badly understaffed. The provincial veterinary diagnostic laboratory was run down, and generally, things were not in very good shape. To Jack, this was a real challenge; he responded by introducing programs to enhance the viability and profitability of the livestock industry and rural veterinary practice.
Initiatives attributed to him include the creation of veterinary service districts and veterinary clinics in rural areas to attract and sustain practicing veterinarians; bursaries and summer employment with veterinary practitioners for Manitoba veterinary students and the construction, equipping and staffing of a new, modern animal disease diagnostic laboratory to serve the animal owners of the province. In addition, he guided the development of the Veterinary Drug and Semen Distribution Centres, and introduced a system for enforcing humane care and animal welfare legislation. He also found time to be a valued member of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine Advisory Council for many years.
Thus, we recognize these innovative and practical programs in veterinary medicine that are of benefit to animals, to the veterinary profession, to generations of veterinary students and to the public at large.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Jack Alexander McPhedran and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Alex Livingston, Dean of Veterinary Medicine
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