Concordia University

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Honorary degree citation - Jack Bordan

By: M.N.S. Swamy, June 1982

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Jack Bordan, teacher founder of this Faculty, and tireless university administrator.

Jack Bordan came to Sir George Williams University in 1952 as Lecturer in Physics, his first academic appointment. A Montrealer, he had taken his Bachelor of Engineering at McGill two years previously, with honours in Engineering Physics, studied at MIT and then completed his Master of Science at McGill. The career that followed was dedicated to one institution, and initially, to one discipline - Engineering.

With encouragement from Austin Wright, then General Secretary to the Engineering Institute of Canada, Sir George Williams undertook to establish the first Canadian engineering programme to be offered in the evening to part time students. An embryonic Engineering department was established in 1957 and its development was entrusted to Jack Bordan. Six years later that department became the Faculty of Engineering, and he served from 1963 to 1969 as its first Dean.

Under his leadership the Faculty developed strong and innovative programmes at the Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral levels. For example, he created the first Master's programme in Canada specifically designed to provide working engineers with the opportunity to improve their qualifications. He encouraged excellence in teaching and research. The present state and reputation of the Faculty and the record of its graduates are testimony to his efforts.

After a few months in an acting role Professor Bordan was appointed in 1970 Vice Principal, Academic of Sir George Williams, to become Vice-Rector, Academic of Concordia when it was established in 1974. As one of the Sir George Williams representatives, he had been instrumental in ensuring that the merger of Sir George Williams and Loyola would give rise to a new University that, drawing on the strengths and traditions of its two founders, would become more than the sum of its constituent parts. He continued until 1980 to be Vice-Rector, Academic responsible for Commerce, Engineering and Computer Science, and Fine Arts. He also served for many years on both the Senate and the Board of Governors.

Jack Bordan has always had a special interest in Engineering education. In 1968 he was part of the Canadian delegation to a UNESCO Conference in Paris on the 'Training of Engineers'. He was, and is, an active member of the American Society for Engineering Education.

He is a member of the Ordre des Ingénieurs du Québec, and has served on its Board. In recognition of his contribution to engineering education, he was recently made a fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He has also served a a member of the Board of Vanier College.

Mr. Chancellor, it is difficult to convey fully the appreciation which I and my colleagues have of Jack's pioneering spirit and unflagging support during his tenure as Dean of the Faculty, and of his devotion to Concordia as one of its senior administrators.

I am truly honoured to present to you, on behalf of the University Senate, and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Jack Bordan, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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