Honorary Degree Citation - James W. Carey*

by Maurice Charland, June 1999

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Dr. James W. Carey, distinguished scholar and CBS Professor of International Journalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

James Carey was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1934. He was educated at the University of Rhode Island, where he obtained his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and went on to complete a Master's and a Doctorate in Communications at the University of Illinois.

In 1963, he accepted a position at the University of Illinois as Associate Professor of Journalism and, six years later, took on the added responsibility of Director of their Institute of Communications Research. From 1976 to 1979, Dr. Carey was George Gallup Professor of Journalism at the University of Iowa, and returned to the University of Illinois in 1979 as Dean of the College of Communications. He has also been a visiting professor at Pennsylvania State University, the University of Georgia and at University College in Dublin.

In 1993, at the point in life when most of us would embark on a well-deserved retirement, James Carey headed to Columbia University in New York City, where he is the CBS Professor of International Journalism.

James Carey has been of the most important contributors to the fields of communications and journalism over the last half of the 20th century. His scholarship is both wide-ranging and extremely influential. As his students will testify, he is a brilliant lecturer animated by a profound appreciation for the place of culture within the human experience. Dr. Carey's work is engaging and inspiring because of his wonderful ability to develop theory while telling a story. He has helped to redefine the proper role of mass media in a democratic society. He is, in particular, centrally responsible for the development of cultural and historical approaches to the analysis of communications technologies.

Dr. Carey has held a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in Science, Technology and Human Values. He is one of 20 elected fellows of the International Communication Association. He has served as president of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and on numerous boards, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Office of Technology Assessment of the US Congress and the Accrediting Council in Journalism and Mass Communication. He also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Peabody Awards in Broadcasting.

During his long and distinguished career, he has lectured at 75 universities. In addition to over 100 essays, monographs and reviews, Dr. Carey has published two books, Media, Myth and Narratives: Television and the Press, and Communication as Culture. He is currently finishing an intellectual biography of Harold Innis and Marshall McLuhan and their times.

James Carey is a scholar of the highest degree, a critical thinker with the ability to relate not only his knowledge of his subject, but also his passion for it. He has played a vital role in preparing, guiding and stimulating journalists, communicators and scholars worldwide.

Mr. Chancellor, it is my privilege and an honour to present to you, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, Dr. James W. Carey, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

* deceased