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Honorary degree citation - Dorothy A. Wills

By: Richard McDonald, June 1989

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Dorothy A. Wills, academic, educator, social worker, community builder.

Educated at Mount St. Vincent University, McGill University, Concordia University, and California's Pacific Western University, Dr. Wills has dedicated her life to teaching, to social work, and to encouraging the integration of visible minorities into Canadian society.

A former lecturer at Concordia, Dorothy Wills has been a faculty member in the Department of Special Care Counselling at Vanier College since 1971. She has taught at the Montreal Catholic School Commission; worked as a social worker at the Girls Cottage School for delinquent adolescents; and taught special care counselling programs for native people at the Kanawake and Chisasibi reserves.

Dorothy Wills' work for Canada's visible minorities has spanned several decades. In addition to her participation in educational and cultural organizations serving the black community, Dr. Wills has served on the Canadian Consultative Council on Multiculturalism; on the National Council of the Canadian Human Rights Foundation; as a research associate on the 1983-84 Parliamentary Committee on the participation of Visible Minorities in Canadian Society; as Vice-Chair of the Montreal Urban Community's Comité consultatif sur les relations interculturelles et interraciales and on the Quebec government's Comité aviseur de la rénovation de l'organisation policière au Québec. This past September she was appointed to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada.

Dr. Wills worked on the organizing committee for the 1987 National Forum on Post Secondary Education, on the Quebec Superior Council of Education's Inter-Cultural and Inter-Confessional Committee, and has been active in a wide variety of groups including: the Quebec Board of Black Educators, the Canadian Institute for Minority Rights and Culture, the National Black Coalition of Canada, the Negro Citizenship Association Inc., the Canadian Institute of African Affairs, and the West Indian Conference Committee.

Mr. Chancellor, it is a privilege to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Dorothy A. Wills, so that you may confer on her the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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