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: September 29, 1959
Special Convocation: Golden Jubilee Convocation
Discipline / contribution: slavic studies ; archives administration
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor:Degree received: Doctor of Laws
I present a distinguished graduate of this University, George Wilfred Simpson.
He was a member of the Class of 1919 and, after postgraduate study in Toronto and London, he joined the Department of History in 1922. He was the Head of the Department from 1940 until his retirement a year ago.
He is a teacher of rare quality, inspiring, sympathetic, and greatly beloved. His students well remember his quiet charm of manner, the flashes of wit, and the searching questions that illuminated the dark corners of their knowledge.
He initiated Slavic studies at this University. He was, moreover, the first Canadian historian to learn the Ukrainian language so that he might read the original sources of Ukrainian history. He edited the first history of the Ukraine to be published in English. His studies in this field have been recognized by the Free Ukrainian University at Munich which conferred the honorary doctorate on him in 1947, and by the Free Ukrainian Academy of Science which elected him to membership in 1951. Canadians of Slavic origin have found in him a wise counsellor and a warm—hearted friend.
Dr. Simpson has ardently cultivated the historic sense in the people of Saskatchewan. He himself has been assiduous in gathering and preserving the records of provincial history. He helped to shape the policy of the Saskatchewan Archives Act and he has served as Provincial Archivist and, later, as a very active member of the Archives Board. As Chairman of the Committee on Historic Sites and Publications he has made an immense contribution to the success of the province’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 1955.
Dr. Simpson has been tireless in his efforts to promote the study of international relations. He has himself been a model internationalist, patient, informed, judicious, tolerant, and with a deep concern for humanity.
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Senate of the University I ask that you confer on George Wilfred Simpson the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Jean Murray, professor of History
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