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Honorary degree citation - George A. Fierheller

By: Terrill Fancott, June 1976

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Mr. George Fierheller, industry leader, founder and president of the largest computer service in Canada, contributor to international computer conferences and events.

Mr. Fierheller is distinguished for his many contributions, both to his profession and to his community. His particular distinction however, comes from his pioneering activity in the Computer Industry in Canada. By his energy and imagination, he succeeded in creating a place for a Canadian company in the computer industry at a time when that industry was noted for its virtually total domination by giant American based multinational companies. His company, Systems Dimensions Limited, was one of the first Canadian computer service companies in the field, and has since become the largest and most successful. The example of this success by a Canadian group has since encouraged a strong and growing Canadian participation in this highly competitive industry.

Throughout his career, Mr. Fierheller has been an indefatigable promotor of the Computer Science profession in Canada. He served on many professional committees and executive bodies, including a term as President of CIPS, the Canadian Information Processing Society. During his term in this office, he organized the establishment of the professional journal INFOR, put the CIPS magazine on a regular publication basis, and was instrumental in starting the Canadian Computer Show, an annual exhibition bringing together computer industry representatives from across the country. He was a founding director of the Association of Canadian Data Processing Service Organizations, and a member of the founding committee of the Institute for the Certification of Computer Professionals.

In spite of this heavy commitment to industry and to professional activities, Mr. Fierheller has still found time to devote to community activities in the Arts, Social Welfare, and Education. He is a member of the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, he has served on the board of directors and as campaign chairman of the United Way, and has contributed his time and energy to Carleton University in many positions, including Vice Chairman of the Board of Governors and Chairman of the university fund raising campaign.

Computer Science is a relatively new field of endeavour. It is only now gaining the recognition as a distinct profession, which is vital to the development and regulation of an industry which is increasingly affecting many aspects of our lives. The contribution of Mr. Fierheller to this professional development has been outstanding as has been his achievements in the Canadian Computer Industry.

Mr. Chancellor, I am honoured to present to you, on behalf of the University Senate, and by authority of the Board of Governors, George A. Fierheller, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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