Honorary Degree Citation - Camille Dagenais

by Paul Fazio, June 1979

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honor to present to you Camille Dagenais, distinguished Engineer and Manager, Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, Officer of the Order of Canada, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of SNC Enterprises Ltd.

Mr. Dagenais, a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique, of Montreal, joined SNC in 1953. In the subsequent two decades he had been a prime mover in effecting a profound change in the company's corporate goals and structure. He has been in charge of the engineering for vast hydroelectric projects which have made the name of SNC world famous, has directed the diversification of the firm into new domains of technology and has broadened its markets to embrace the entire world. Highly respected in engineering circles for his work on the Manicouagan, Quinze River and Idukki hydroelectric developments, he has been asked to serve several professional societies and as Vice President of Zone America on the International Commission of Large Dams.

From 1966 to 1975, as President and Director of SNC Enterprises, he has developed and guided the growth of the SNC Group of companies. Appointed Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer in 1975, Mr. Dagenais now directs the corporate planning and development of the whole group. In addition Mr. Dagenais is a director of Canadian Liquid Air Ltd., The Royal Bank of Canada, Société d'Investissement Desjardins and a Governor of the Université du Québec.

Mr. Dagenais has served many of our professional associations in various capacities. Among these roles are: President of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering; President of the Association of Consulting Engineers of Canada; Member of the National Research Council of Canada; President of the Canadian Nuclear Association.

In the decade since Mr. Dagenais reached the top, SNC's employees have increased from 650 to 2,200. Revenue in the period has increased 10 fold to $73 million of which more than 70% is in professional fees, which is testimony to the philosophy of Camille Dagenais who believes that: Knowledge is the ultimate world currency ... the economic base of our emerging global society which may become an active rather than a passive force, with understanding as the catalyst that will make it so."

Mr. Dagenais accomplishments and dynamism, Mr. Chancellor, reflect the exciting and challenging world of Engineering and Management to face our new graduates.

Mr. Chancellor, it is a distinct honour and privilege for me, on behalf of the Senate and by authority of the Board of Governors, to present to you Camille Dagenais, that you may confer on him the degree of doctor of Laws, honoris causa.