Honorary degree citation - Walter F. Light*
By: Andreas Antoniou, June 1980
Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Walter Frederick Light, distinguished engineer and successful administrator.
Mr. Light was born in Cobalt, Ontario. Soon after his secondary education, Mr. Light joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942. Following service overseas, he attended Queen's University from which he obtained the degree of Bachelor of Science with Honours in 1949.
Mr. Light began his career in the engineering department of Bell Canada focusing on the rapidly expanding field of telecommunications. He soon advanced to senior management positions in Toronto and Montreal, and subsequently, in 1967, he was appointed Vice President, Engineering, Bell Canada. In May of 1969, he was named Vice President, Operations, Bell Canada. He held this position until his appointment as president of Northern Telecom Ltd. in August, 1974. On October 1, 1979, Mr. Light was appointed Presdient and Chief Executive Officer of Northern Telecom Ltd.
Under the dynamic leadership of Mr. Light, Northern Telecom has evolved into one of the more spectacular success stories in Canada. From 12 plants in January 1970, it has grown to 55 plants in January 1980, while the sales of the company have quadrupled in the past 7 years to reach two billion dollars. It is estimated that no less than 2500 canadian jobs are currently maintained by exports alone.
In addition to his commitment to engineering, Mr. Light has cultivated a keen interest in the arts and in university education. He is a director of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, a governor of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, an Associate of Carleton University, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Queen's University.
Mr. Light is a Fellow of the Engineering Institute of Canada, a member of the Corporation of Professional Engineers of Quebec, the Association of Professional Engineers of the Province of Ontario, the Electrical Manufacturers Club, and the C.D. Howe Research Institute.
Mr. Chancellor, it is a distinct honour and privilege for me, on behalf of the Senate and by authority of the Board of Governors, to present to you Walter Frederick Light, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.