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, 1976
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to you Dr. Herman Harvey Ferns.Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Dr. Ferns received the Governor-General's Gold Medal as the most distinguished graduate of this University in 1927. He received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Toronto in 1933.
As a member of the faculty. Dr. Ferns quickly earned an enviable reputation as an outstanding teacher of mathematics. I frequently meet former students of his who remember with pleasure classes they took from Dr. Ferns.
Dr. Ferns was Head of the Department of Mathematics from 1946 to 1962. He served as Director of Veterans Affairs in the years following the Second World War. He was Director of the Summer School from 1949 to 1959. He played an important role in persuading leading artists to contribute their talents to the development of the program of summer art classes at Emma Lake. In the performance of these and many other duties, Dr. Ferns displayed intelligence, judgment, tact, friendliness and a fine sense of humor. As a result, he achieved a good measure of success in all his ventures.
As a scholar, Herman Ferns has never retired. He continues to demonstrate his enthusiasm for mathematics and his dedication to expanding the frontiers of knowledge by publishing new results. For example, a recent issue of a mathematical journal contained two papers based on "Ferns' Theorem" concerning Fibonacci numbers, a result published by Dr. Ferns just a few years ago.
Dr. and Mrs. Ferns contributed greatly to the cultural life of the community and were always willing to help those in need of assistance. The respect Dr. Ferns earned as a teacher, scholar and administrator was matched by the high regard friends and acquaintances had for him and Mrs. Ferns as persons of outstanding quality and integrity.
Eminent Chancellor, I present to you Dr. Herman Harvey Ferns and ask that you bestow upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: G.H.M. Thomas
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