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Honorary degree citation - Moses Levitt*

By: Muriel Armstrong, June 1975

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Mr. Moses Levitt, a distinguished Montrealer who, with quiet charm and great efficiency, has mobilized the community around him to carry out a remarkable number of good works. He has rendered great service to the business community, to the Jewish community, and the university community.

In the business community, apart from being president of his company, he has served as a negotiator with the union; and the stability of the clothing industry has been attributed, at least in part, to his fairness, his integrity and his sound judgement. Like other distinguished businessmen he served Canada during the war as a member of the Wartime Prices and Trade Board.

He was an excellent basketball player, and about half a century ago his enthusiasm for athletics led to his interest in the YMHA. He became an important force behind the construction of the YMHA facilities. He also served as president of the YM-YWHA. His interest spread to other community projects; according to his colleagues, he was involved in almost everything worthwhile - but behind the scenes and out of the limelight. He was Chairman of the United Palestine Appeal of 1951; this led to the formation of the Combined Jewish Appeal, of which he has also been Chairman. He was a founder and Vice-President of the Allied Jewish Community Services, and is a life trustee of that body. For his distinguished leadership in the Montreal Community, Mr. Levitt, in 1972, received the highest honour the Jewish Community in Canada can bestow the Samuel Bronfman Medal.

Apparently it is impossible for people to say 'No' when softspoken "Moe" Levitt asks for money: he has been a formidable fund raiser not only for the Jewish Community and for his Alma Mater (he was a graduate of the first Commerce Class of McGill University in 1922), but also for Sir George Williams University. He has been active in the development of this University ever since he became involved in raising funds for the Henry F. Hall Building.

But his contribution to the University goes beyond this. He was a valued member of the Board of Governors of Sir George Williams University from 1967 to 1974 and served on several of its committees. He is now a member of the Advisory Committee of Concordia.

Mr. Chancellor, I am honoured to present to you, on behalf of the University Senate, and the authority of the Board of Governors, Mr. Moses Levitt, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.


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