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 20, 1965
Discipline / contribution: economic theory ; international service; intellectual innovation
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the University Council end Senate I present to you John Kenneth Galbraith, BS, MS, PhD, LLD, DLitt, the Paul M. Warburg Professor of Economics a Harvard University.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Dr. Galbraith was born and raised on a farm at lone Station, Ontario, in a community which he has recently immortalized with wit and insight in his book “The Scotch”. He studied at the Ontario Agricultural College, the University of California and Cambridge University, and taught at Princeton and Harvard before the second world war. He has been professor of economics at Harvard University since 1949.
Dr. Galbraith’s many writings mark him as a bold intellectual innovator. One of his best known works on economics is “American Capitalism: The Concept of Countervailing Power”, a widely-discussed analysis of the problem of market regulation arid power in mode:n capitalist society. His most influential book has been The Affluent Society”, a study of the economic arid social problems of a high-income community, with emphasis on the problem of maintaining balance between the public and private sectors. This book end his subsequent writings on its themes have already had an effect on thought and on policy In the United States and elsewhere; for example, in the recent emphasis on the need for improvement in the quality of economic life, and in the recognition that overall economic progress is not a sufficient solution to the problem of poverty. Dr. Galbraith’s many books and articles, both academic and popular, reflect wide interests and penetrating thought in economics and politics, a graceful prose combined with a trenchant wit, a finely developed capacity to outrage those whose wisdom appears to be unthinkingly conventional, and an outspoken liberal conviction. He is an academic innovator as well, for he was the first to teach classes at Harvard in the problems of economic development. He has served as adviser on development problems to the governments of India, Pakistan and Ceylon.
Dr. Galbraith is a man who has translated his ideas into practice through an active role both in government administration and in politics. During the Second World War he served in several senior government posts, and he has since served as a consultant to a number of government departments. He acted as a campaign adviser to Adlai Stevenson and on the convention staff of John F. Kennedy, and was Chairman of the Economic Advisory Committee of his party. From 1961 to 1963 he served as Ambassador of the United States to India, at a crucial time for India’s economic development and for her political relations with both the United States and China. The quality of his service in these years was evident from the unusual public acknowledgment by the Prime Minister of India of the help and counsel of Dr. Galbraith during these critical years.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you John Kenneth Galbraith, a man who in his many careers has combined innovating intellectual achievement with purposeful action, and I ask that you confer on him the Degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa.
Degree presented by: A.E. Safarian, Head of Economics and Political Science
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