Honorary degree citation - Alberto Mortara*

By: Arthur Lermer, November 1971

Mr. Chancellor:

I have the honour to present to you, Dr. Alberto Mortara, a distinguished Italian Economist of international reputation. It is rather rare, indeed, to name many economists who blend their academic interests with applied economics, especially pertaining to the role of governments in the modern economy, as in the case of Dr. Mortara.

Trained at the University of Milano, he obtained his Doctorate there in 1931. Upon graduation, he assumed the position of Assistant Professor at the same University. Simultaneously, Dr. Mortara served as Director of Research of the Italian Trade Union Movement until 1938. Since 1938, he has held various executive positions at different Corporations, such as Montecatini. Immediately following the end of the Second World War, Dr. Mortara became Managing Director of the Olivetti Company.

In partnership with Adriano Olivetti, he founded the famous Italian enterprise, IRUC (Istituto per il rinnovamento urbano e rurale), a nonprofit organization concerned with regional development in the far northern and deep southern regions of Italy.

Dr. Alberto Mortara served on many Government Commissions, including the European Economic Community; he was Consultant for I.M.T. (Istituto Mobiliare Italiano); a member of the Executive Committee of the Olivetti Foundation, and other prominent institutions. Above all, he, together with the present Minister of Finance, Roberto Tremelini, is the founder of the Italian CIRIEC. CIRIEC stands for CENTER OF RESEARCH AND INFORMATION ON PUBLIC AND COOPERATIVE ECONOMY He led the Italian section to become one of the strongest in the worldwide organization of CIRIEC. It is the very powerful and highly successful public sector that forms the backbone of the Italian CIRIEC. Under his brilliant leadership, CIRIEC ITALIANO achieved its international prestige. Dr. Mortara is also the editor of "ECONOMIA PUBLICA", the Italian CIRIEC'S learned journal, and the Head of the Economic and Judicial Section of the National Center for Research in Italy. He is one of the most highly regarded leaders of CIRIEC International as well, and plays a key role in its Scientific Commission The Canadian CIRIEC and the "Canadian CIRIEC Review" with its headquarters at our University, owes him a great deal of gratitude for the effective assistance that he rendered for its establishment.

While continuing his scholarly and organizational activity, Dr. Mortara after his early retirement from most of his active duties in the Olivetti Company, turned his talents to film production in his beloved field of art, architecture, etc. A humanitarian, par excellence, Dr. Mortara hardly misses any worthwhile cause, serving to further the wellbeing of needy throughout the world.

During the War, he distinguished hinself by his most courageous underground activity, for which he received the highest national award, bestowed upon him by the President of the Republic.

Among his publications are, The History of Agrarian Settlements in Italy, Financing Public Enterprises, The Economics of Retail Distribution, etc.

Mr. Chancellor, I am honoured to present to you, on behalf of the University Council and by authority of the Board of Governors, Dr. Alberto Mortara, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.


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