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: November 7, 1970
Discipline / contribution: public service ; public policy
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Robert Broughton Bryce.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Robert Bryce, well and favourably known to a whole generation of Canadian economists and political scientists as Bob Bryce, is an industrious scholar and economic advisor who chose to follow his profession largely within the self-effacing context of the civil service, and except among his fellow professional his accomplishments have thus not been as widely advertised as they might otherwise have been.
Born in Toronto in 1910, Mr. Bryce took his first degree in mining engineering at the University of Toronto, and then very sensibly transferred his allegiance to economics, earning first class honours at Cambridge in 1934, subsequently pursuing his studies at Harvard. After a brief period as an economist in the private sector, Mr. Bryce became a public servant in 1938, on the staff of the Department of Finance, and then followed a course which brought him into the highest councils of the nation as an advisor and consultant. During the war he was secretary to the Economic Advisory Committee to the Dominion government, and in 1944 became Director of International Finance in his department. He shortly became the first Canadian Executive Director of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and on the domestic scene was in 1947 appointed Assistant Deputy Minister of Finance and Secretary to the Treasury Board. He held these sensitive positions until 1954, when he became Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet, in which capacities he played a key role in the behind-the-scenes activities that accompanied the governmental changes of 1957 and 1963. In the latter year he returned to the Department of Finance as Deputy Minister, and this year left that position to join the Prime Minister’s staff as Economic Advisor on the Constitution.
In his distinguished career Mr. Bryce has both participated in, and often presided over, some of the most momentous changes that have ever occurred in the administration of affairs of state in Canada. The list is too long for inclusion here: but it is a fact that Mr. Bryce, although never a responsible minister, is nonetheless one of a small group of highly influential people which this country is fortunate to have had among its public servants.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Robert Broughton Bryce, and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Norman Ward, professor of Political Science
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