Honorary degree citation - J.V. Raymond Cyr
By: M. N. S. Swamy, November 1988
Mr Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Raymond Cyr, distinguished member of the engineering profession, eminent businessman, and community leader.
Raymond Cyr is an outstanding example of an engineer who through technical and managerial skill rose through the ranks to the highest levels of his company. He became president of Bell Canada in 1983, chief executive officer in 1984, and chairman of the board in 1985. In 1987, he was appointed president of Bell Canada Enterprises.
Natif de Montréal, il a fréquenté l'Ecole Polytechnique qui lui a décerné le grade de Bachelier ès Sciences Appliquées en 1958. La même année, il commençait sa brillante carrière chez Bell Canada. En 1962, ii était choisi pour bénéficier d'un cours d'études supérieures d'une durée de 18 mois aux laboratoires Bell, dans l'état du New Jersey. Les connaissances qu'il y a acquises dans le domaine de la technique et celui de la gestion lui ont servi dans toute sa carrière et c'est ainsi qu'il a été nommé Ingénieur en chef à Québec en 1970. Deux ans plus tard, il faisait partie d'un groupe de hauts fonctionnaires et de gens d'affaires chevronnés, choisis pour participer à un cours de formation d'un an au Collège de la Défense nationale à Kingston en Ontario. A cette occasion, il a visité 30 pays en voie de développement où il a rencontré les chefs du gouvernement, de l'opposition, des syndicats, des universités et du monde des affaires.
On his return to Bell Canada, he was appointed vice-president, and then advanced quickly through senior management to his present position.
His influence as an industry leader extends far beyond the confines of his company. He is a member of the boards of directors of many leading companies involved in a wide range of activities. He has also brought his considerable experience and expertise to bear through involvement in a variety of public, community, and government bodies. He is a member of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, the Canadian Group of the Trilateral Commission, and the Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister on Business/Government Executive Exchange. He is also vice-chairman of Junior Achievement of Canada and is chairman of the board of the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal.
Mr. Cyr has assumed a leadership role in promoting closer links between universities and industry in Canada. He is an associate governor of the Université de Montréal. An active member of the Corporate Higher Education Forum, he chaired a Forum task force on joint research efforts in 1985. The report of that task force, entitled "Spending Smarter"' has received wide publicity and acclaim. Acting on some of the recommendations of his report, he was the driving force behind the founding in 1987 of the "Centre d'initiatives technologiques de Montréal", a university/industry consortium to promote research and development in biotechnology, microelectronics, computers and aerospace.
In 1984-85, he was president of the Telephone Pioneers of America, the largest voluntary association of industrial employees in the world.
His work in both his profession and his community has been recognized by distinguished awards. In 1987, he was the recipient of the Canadian Engineer's Gold Medal Award for outstanding achievement in the profession. He was recently awarded the Ordre du Mérite des Diplomés by the Université de Montréal. He is also an officer of the Order of Canada.
Mr. Chancellor, it is a privilege to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by authority of the Board of Governors, J. V. Raymond Cyr, so that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.