Summary: Queen's Chronicles Honorary Degree Recipients
by KAY LANGMUIR
Queen's Gazette, April 24, 2006
This spring marked the 148th year that Queen's has awarded honorary degrees. The history of
this honour however, was, until recently, in danger of being lost amidst the dust of time.
When Dean of Arts and Science Bob Silverman realized one day in conversation with University
Registrar Jo-Anne Brady that the university lacked a complete and accurate record of its
honorary-degree recipients, they decided to rectify the situation. It proved to be a substantial
task of detective work. A student hired as a researcher for the project spent one summer full-
time and two semesters working part-time on the list before it was recently completed two
dozen pages and hundreds of names covering the 148 years between 1858 and today.
The university does a fairly broad call for nominations, says University Secretary Georgina
Moore. Through newspaper notices and email postings sent throughout campus, the call goes
out asking members of the Queen's community to reflect on which individuals embody the
values and actions they most admire.
Any two people can put forward a name. Some suggestions come from the university at large.
Others originate with the Senate Committee for Honorary Degrees, which makes the final
recommendations to the Senate. Some come regularly from a special think-tank on honorary
degree recipients, currently chaired by Principal Emeritus Bill Leggett, which searches for
particularly prominent individuals.