Concordia University

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Honorary degree citation - James M. Ham*

By: Andreas Antoniou, June 1983

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you James Milton Ham, distinguished engineer, educator and university administrator.

James Milton Ham received his B.A.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto in 1943. Having served as Electrical Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy during 1944-45, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he received his S.M. and Sc.D. degrees in 1947 and 1952, respectively. He continued at MIT, first as a Research Associate in the Research Laboratory of Electronics and later as Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering. He returned home in 1953 to assume the duties of Associate Professor iti the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Toronto. He became a full professor in 1959, Department Chairman in 1964, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering in 1966, Chairman of the Research Board in 1974, and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies in 1976.

In 1978 he was appointed President of the University, inheriting a lean purse and the unenviable task of maintaining the worthy achievements of the late 60's and early 70's, as well as the University's assets and resources. Characterized by his peers and subordinates as a modest, sincere, humane, dedicated, and open¬minded individual, Dr. Ham has been leading his university through the most financially precarious period of its 150 year history. And this he has pursued with a single minded determination not to stray from his philosophical convictions about higher learning.

He has published extensively through the years both in scientific journals and elsewhere, and patented his ideas frequently. He is the author of "Apparatus for Electronic Integration", and co author of "Scientific Basis of Electrical Engineering".

Dr. Ham has been honoured widely. He was elected Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 1967; he was awarded the Centennial Medal of Canada in 1967, the University of Toronto Engineering Alumni Medal in 1973, the Engineering Medal of the Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario in 1974, the McNaughton Medal of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Silver Jubilee Medal of Canada in 1977. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in June 1980. In addition, he has received numerous honorary degrees.

Through the years, Dr. Ham has involved himself in several undertakings of considerable substance outside his university. He served as Chairman of the National Research Council Laboratories during 1972-74, as Chairman of the Committee on Education and Training of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations during 1971-74, and as Chairman of the Royal Commission on Health and Safety of Mine Workers in Ontario during 1974-76, whose report won acclaim from friend and foe alike. In addition, he has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Ontario Research Foundation since 1971, and as a director of Shell Canada since 1981.

Mr. Chancellor, it is a distinct honour and a privilege for me present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by authority of the Board of Governors, James Milton Ham, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

* deceased

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