Honorary Degrees

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.


Honorary Degree Recipient, Dr. Harry Emmet Gunning, May 17, 1984 (Photograph Collection, A-7930)
Name: Harry Emmet Gunning, Ba, MA, PhD
Convocation date: May 17, 1984
Discipline / contribution: University education ; research; science and technology
Citation / biographical information:
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate I present to you Harry Emmet Gunning.
Harry Gunning was born and educated in Toronto, receiving his Honors BA, MA, and, in 1942, his PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Toronto. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard and subsequently a Research Chemist in Steacie’s NRC Laboratory in Ottawa until 1946. During the next 13 years Dr. Gunning held various teaching positions at the University of Rochester and the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 1957 he returned to Canada to become Professor and Chairman of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta. Under his dynamic leadership the department grew and developed a world-wide reputation for academic and research excellence. In 1974 he was appointed President of the University of Alberta, a post he held until 1979.
The author of some 175 research papers, Harry Gunning has made a remarkable contribution to chemical kinetics and photochemistry. His achievements, both as scholar and administrator, have been recognized throuqh numerous awards including the Chemical Institute of Canada Medal in 1967, the Province of Alberta Achievement Award in both 1971 and 1979, Officer of the Order of Canada in 1979 and three honorary degrees.
Dr. Gunning has also been active in his profession, serving as President of the Chemical Institute of Canada in 1973-74, and in promoting the transfer of technology from universities to industry. Since his retirement from the University in 1982, he has continued to be extremely active in the latter aspect of his exceptional career. He is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of CHEMBIOMED Ltd., Chairman of the Edmonton Research and Development Park Authority, as well as a member of several provincial and national boards and commissions.
Dr. Gunning has made an outstanding contribution to chemistry, to University education and research, and to science and technology in this country.
Mr. Chancellor, I present to you Harry Emmet Gunning and ask that you will confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Degree presented by: A.R. Knight

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