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Honorary degree citation - Claudette MacKay-Lassonde*

By: Corinne Jetté, June 1996

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honor to present to you Claudette MacKay-Lassonde who, in addition to her outstanding professional engineering activities, has also made significant contributions that have encouraged more young women to enter the profession. Her pioneering efforts have produced concrete results that have, in turn, enhanced the climate for all students registered in engineering programmes across Canada.

Born in Montreal, she earned her BSc in chemical engineering from the Université de Montréal in 1971; an MSc in nuclear engineering from the University of Utah in 1973; and her MBA from the University of Toronto in 1983.

Mme Mackay-Lassonde est présidente du Conseil et chef de la direction de Enghouse Systems Limited depuis 1994. Avec un chiffre d'affaires annuel de 12,5 millions de dollars, ce chef de file canadien fournit aux industries des télécommunications et de la haute technologie des solutions logicielles novatrices et performantes. Mme Mackay-Lassonde est également présidente de Firelight Investments Limited, banque d'investissements s'intéressant particu1ièrement aux entreprises de haute technologie et de biotechnologie.

Elle a été vice-présidente aux Affaires publiques de Xerox Canada (1993-1994) et sous-ministre adjointe au ministère de l'Industrie, du Commerce et de la Technologie de l'Ontario (1992-1993), après ses débuts comme ingénieure et gestionnaire à Northern Telecom, Ontario Hydro, Énergie atomique du Canada et Bechtel Power Corporation (San Francisco).

She was responsible for organizing the first Canadian Convention of Women Engineers and was instrumental in setting up in 1989 the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation, which today continues to provide scholarship funding for young women enrolled in engineering programmes.

In 1982, she became the first women president of the 51,000-member Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario, and, in 1987, became the first female vice-president of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). In 1987-88, she was a member of the National Advisory Board on Science and Technology, chaired by the prime minister. Her current directorships include Abitibi-Price Inc., Clearnet Communications Inc., AGF Management Limited, Les Laboratoires Aeterna and Sunnybrook Hospital.

Mr. Chancellor, it is my privilege and a personal pleasure to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board Of Governors, Claudette MacKay-Lassonde, so that you may confer on her the Degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

* deceased

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