Honorary degree citation - J. Gordin Kaplan*
By: Robert M. Roy, June 1978
Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Mr. J. Gordin Kaplan, distinguished Professor of Biology, research scientist, administrator and leader in the Canadian University community.
Dr. Kaplan was born and educated in New York, receiving a Bachelor of Arts n Biology, from the College of the City of New York in 1943. Following active service in the European Theatre with the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he returned to academic life and completed Master of Arts and Doctor of philosophy degrees in Biology at Columbia University.
Gordin Kaplan came to Canada in 1950 as Assistant Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Dalhousie University. He left Dalhousie at the rank of professor to join the department of Biology, University of Ottawa in 1966 and has subsequently become the Chairman of that Department.
Gordin Kaplan has an outstanding record of scholarly publication over the past 25 years which reflects not only a profound insight into highly specialized research problems but also a continuing enthusiasm for the challenge of scientific endeavour which is confirmed by the diversity of questions to which he has devoted his attention.
The extensive list of international symposia to which Dr. Kaplan has been invited as speaker or as Chairman clearly indicates the esteem in which he is held by the world's community of biologists. The frequency with which he is called upon as an invited lecturer at universities and research establishments attests to his reputation as Dr. Kaplan's achievements as professor, scientist and administrator, his activities as a major figure in numerous undertakings on behalf of biologists, scientists and, indeed, university professors in general, are perhaps even more impressive. He was President of the Canadian Association of University Teachers in 1970-71, President of the Canadian Federation of Biological Societies 1975-76, a position he used as a platform to conduct a successful campaign to increase government funding of research in universities. For the past two years he has been a member of the National Research Council Grant Selection Committee for Cell Biology and Genetics. He is Vice-President of the Canadian Biochemical Society this year and President-Elect for next year, a year in which the International Congress of Biochemistry will take place in Toronto.
On a personal level, Gordin Kaplan, deserves very special recognition for his great sense of social and political justice and his willingness to speak out eloquently to the encouragement of young scientists is consistent with a profound compassion for his fellowman.
Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of the Senate and by authority of the Board of Governors, I am honoured to present to you, J. Gordin Kaplan, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa.