Honorary degree citation - James Gilchrist Finnie*
By: Adam Dickie, June 1978
Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you James Gilchrist Finnie.
In honouring Jim Finnie today, we at Concordia University are recognizing the long and faithful service which he has given to the Department of Accountancy and to the Faculty of Commerce of one of our founding institutions. Professor Finnie's service was not only to Sir George Williams University and later to Concordia, but also to the many students in accountancy, in whose welfare hewas always interested, and to whom he was always available.
Jim was born in Scotland, where he received his early education. At the age of eighteen he emigrated to Canada, and faced the same problem confronting many young people today, namely: the difficulty of finding employment. Jim realized the need for further education, and sought the advice of the late Dr. Henry F. Hall, who was then Dean of Sir George Williams College.
From 1937 to 1948 Jim studied part time. He first became a Certified General Accountant and then earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree. He later became a Chartered Accountant. During this time Jim was first an instructor and later the Assistant Director of Sir George Williams Business School. In 1948 he became the first full time faculty member in the Commerce Division of Sir George Williams University, and by 1959 he reached the rank of Professor of Accountancy. In 1962, when the Faculty of Commerce was created, Jim became the first Chairman of the Department of Accountancy. He held this position until he retired in 1975.
In addition to performing his duties in the University, Jim was active in the Certified General Accountants Association. He held the position of Secretary-Treasurer, in the Canadian Association for fifteen years, and in the Quebec Association for eight years. The Association recognized Professor Finnie's contribution by electing him a life member in 1958, a Fellow in 1968 and Honorary Secretary-Treasurer in 1970.
Two other honours were bestowed upon Jim while he was a Professor of Accountancy. In 1965 he was elected an Honorary Life Member of the Association of Alumni of Sir George Williams University. On his retirement, in 1975, his faculty colleagues, friends and associates established a scholarship fund in his name.
Jim's honours for faithful service did not end with retirement, for in 1977, His Excellency, the Governor General of Canada, on behalf of the Queen, bestowed upon Jim a "Citation and Silver Medal" during the Queen's Jubilee Celebration.
Mr. Chancellor, I am honoured to present to you on behalf of the University Senate, and by the authority of the Board of Governors, James Gilchrist Finnie, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.