Honorary degree citation - B. Wynne Roberts*
By: Henry F. Hall, November 1965
It is my great honour and privilege to present to you B. Wynne Roberts.
Sir George Williams University is no longer among Canada's most youthful institutions of higher education. It is almost in the stage of being one of our middle aged universities. It is, however, young enough that some of its pioneers are still active in its affairs. Outstanding among these is our first Chancellor (now our Chancellor Emeritus) whom we are delighted to honour this evening.
In a way Dr. Roberts' career has been typical of many Canadian men of his and my generation. He has been identified with a great national company, the Canadian Pacific Railway, in many capacities and in several places across our broad country. His career was interrupted by active service in the first World War and by special work with the government of Canada during the second World War. He was appointed to the position and the responsibility of the Vice-Presidency of the C.P.R. some years before retiring.
In spite of heavy duties and responsibility in his vocation and in the public service, Dr. Roberts has given much time and dedicated effort to practical community causes. Outstanding among these have been Rotary International, the Boy Scouts, the Y.M.C.A., and as we well know, Sir George Williams University. He joined our Board of Governors on June 27, 1940 (a quarter of a century ago). He became its Chairman in June 1947 and the first Chancellor of the University in 1960. His varied and outstanding services have been recognized by the awarding of the O.B.E. in 1946 and by the doctorate in civil law by our sister University, Bishop's, in 1954.
As Chairman of the Board of Governors during a critical period in the expanding development of the University Dr. Roberts made a unique and vital contribution. It was, for example, during the time of his leadership that the institution was granted its charter as a university and later an amendment by which it received its present name.
It is simple, Mr. Chancellor, to recount these facts in the life of our Chancellor Emeritus. They do not, however, begin to describe the extent or the quality of his life and work. Having been fortunate enough to be in a position to observe and to appreciate Dr. Roberts' service to this University, I feel highly privileged, on behalf of the University Council and by authority of the Board of Governors, to present B. Wynne Roberts that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.