Concordia University

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Honorary degree citation - Guy Desbarats*

By: C. Marsh, June 1977

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Mr. Guy Desbarats, Asst. Deputy Minister.

In honouring a member of our community by conferring the degree of Doctor of Laws we must not overlook that we also are honoured by its acceptance, and perhaps never more so than in the case of Mr. Desbarats.

It is fitting that at the end of the first year of the Centre for Building Studies at Concordia University the man chosen to accept our recognition of his contribution to society should be a creative architect, gifted administrator and teacher, who has been responsible for many of the landmark buildings of Montreal and Canada.

A son of Montreal, he belonged to no isolated group, but participated in all the areas of architectural activity.

After graduating from McGill University, winning the medal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, he practised architecture in Ottawa, there, having demonstrated his talents and creativity, he received a CMHC research scholarship, to study post was housing.

Returning to Montreal, where he founded what was to become one of our foremost architectural practices, he demonstrated his innovative gifts in many now familiar buildings such as the Beaver Lake Pavilion, McGill Students Union and theme pavilions at Expo '67, while co operating with architects in the U.S.A. on laboratory experiments in architecture and finding time to teach at McGill University's School of Architecture.

The academic world benefited greatly when he became Doyen de l'Ecole d'architecture de l'Université de Montréal and later Doyen de la Faculté de 1'Amenagement at the same institution. During this time he served as Acting Director and President of la Centre de Recherche et d'Innovation Urbaine. Throughout the years his skills have been rewarded by many prizes for architectural excellence and evidenced by positions and consultative appointments he holds on numerous University, Provincial and Federal bodies.

Recently he left academia to become the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for Design in the Federal Department of Public Works where we are sure his talents will find ever widening areas to explore and enlighten.

Widely known, widely recognized and widely honoured, Mr. Chancellor, I am honoured to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Mr. Guy Desbarats, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

* deceased

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