Concordia University

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Honorary degree citation - Henry J. Hemens*

By: Muriel Armstrong, June 1982

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Henry John Hemens, former Chancellor of Concordia University, and tireless promoter of its welfare. Concordia and Harry Hemens share a common objective: service to the community. Throughout his career Harry Hemens has made major contributions to each community of which he has been a member. In his residential community of Rosemere, for example, he served a term as mayor, and for a number of years he was a municipal judge. For his outstanding contribution to his church community he was made a member of the Order of Malta.

He has made numerous contributions to the business community as well. In addition to his own successful career as counsel, and more recently as consultant, for Du Pont of Canada, he has served other companies as a member of their board of directors. He is a past president of the Association of General Counsels. He has been active in the Canadian Manufacturer's Association, and in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce: one of his contributions to the Canadian Chamber was to chair its important Committee on Combines and Competition Policy.

But it is particularly for his service to the University community that we honour him today. Harry Hemens is very much one of us. He earned his B.A. from Loyola College fifty years ago before going on to study law at McGill and the University of Paris. He was appointed a member of the Board of Governors of Loyola College in 1966, and became Vice Chairman of its Board, of Trustees four years later. He is a past president of the Loyola Alumni Association. In the traumatic period of the merger he served for a year as Chancellor of Sir George Williams University and then was appointed the first Chancellor of the newly formed Concordia University. In this capacity he served the University well and with good humour throughout the hectic and sometimes troubled years of its infancy and early youth.

For his devoted service to all of the communities in which he has served - his home and church communities, the business community, and, most particularly, for his unceasing efforts on behalf of our University community, it is fitting that we should honour Harry Hemens today.

Mr. Chancellor, it is my privilege to present to you, on behalf of the University Senate and by authority of the Board of Governors, Henry John Hemens, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

* deceased

 

 

 

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