Honorary Degree Citation - Roger Gaudry*

by J.W. O’Brien, November 1980

Mr. Chairman, I have the honour to present to you Roger Gaudry, chemist, professor, former Rector of the Université de Montréal, an architect of Canadian science policy, and representative of Canada to the university world abroad.

Born in Quebec City, Roger Gaudry pursued the study of Chemistry at Université Laval, and then as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He returned to Laval and upon completion of his doctorate began a fifteen year career of teaching and research in the Faculty of Medicine, culminating with the rank of full professor. He then joined the research laboratories of Ayerst, McKenna & Harrison and spent a decade with that company, shortly becoming their Director of Research as well as Director of Research of Ayerst Laboratories in New York. In 1965 he was named the first lay Rector of the Université de Montréal and held that position until 1975.

Mr. Chairman, it is not, however, for these accomplishments that we have chosen today to honour Dr. Gaudry, worthy of honour though they may be. It is rather because of his contributions to the development of Canadian science policy and for his role in the international university community.

The past fifteen years have been particularly active ones for Canadian science policy, heralding, we would hope, a certain coming of age of Canadian science, but marked also by excruciating questioning as to how scientific development should be shaped in a country like Canada. With his background in both university and industrial research, Dr. Gaudry has been well placed to play a major role in these debates, and this he has done, most notably, as Vice-Chairman and then as Chairman of the Science Council of Canada from 1966-75.

More recently Dr. Gaudry has utilized his talents on the international scene. When the United Nations University was in the process of formation, he was the Canadian most deeply involved in its planning, and he became in due course the first chairman of its Council, for 1974 76, thus assuming responsibility in a formative period for the involvement of many nations in this fascinating attempt at focusing world wide research efforts on problems of direct concern to the future of mankind. We also greet him particularly this day upon his completion in 1980 of a five year term as President of the International Association of Universities, where he has presided with distinction and effectiveness over this small united nations of institutions with varying views, interests and concerns.

Mr. Chairman, it is a privilege to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Roger Gaudry, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

* deceased