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Honorary degree citation - Frederick H. Lowy

By: Larry English, June 2008

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Frederick Lowy, leader, visionary and healer, as well as President Emeritus of Concordia University.

Frederick Lowy arrived in Montreal in 1945 at the age of 12 with his family, seven years after having left their original home in Austria. He was a gifted student, graduating from McGill’s medical school in 1959. After postgraduate training in internal medicine and psychiatry, he held psychiatric positions at the Royal Victoria in Montreal, the Ottawa Civic Hospital and Toronto’s Clarke Institute of Psychiatry. Eventually, he became Dean of Medicine at the University of Toronto and founding director of its Centre for Bioethics.

La vie et la carrière de Frederick Lowy, qu’on peut qualifier de marquantes et rigoureuses, sont également empreintes de sensibilité et d’humanisme. C’est pourquoi l’Université Concordia a eu recours à ses compétences en 1995 alors qu’elle avait besoin d’un recteur de sa stature pour la diriger.

Dr. Lowy’s skills as a healer, a leader, and a consensus-builder fit Concordia’s needs like a glove. For the next decade, under his stewardship, Concordia experienced tremendous growth: in programs, initiatives, buildings, enrolment and faculty recruitment—all while improving its finances and balancing its budget.

Most importantly, Dr. Lowy’s tenure enhanced the university’s teaching and research profile, ushering in a new era for science and business, engineering and innovation in art at Concordia. Dr. Lowy is widely credited with achieving this transformation, with leading the development of a modern academic plan while attracting key business and community leaders to participate in the university’s development. Dr. Lowy’s outstanding reputation helped make Concordia a first-choice university for faculty, students and staff alike.

Dr. Lowy is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, a Life Member of both the Canadian and American Psychiatric Associations and the American College of Psychiatrists. In 2000, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Aside from his reputation as an outstanding academic and university president, Dr. Lowy is known for his generous engagement in community and society across Canada. Here at Concordia, we have not forgotten his humanity and his kindness. He has been greatly missed.

Ce fut un grand honneur pour la communauté montréalaise d’apprendre qu’au moment de prendre sa retraite, Frederick Lowy a choisi de demeurer dans la métropole. Son épouse et lui, la psychanalyste Mary-Kay O’Neill, continuent d’enrichir le Québec de leurs actions sociales et humanitaires.

It is entirely fitting that we should recognize Dr. Lowy’s contributions to the university community, and to the broader communities of Montreal, Quebec, Canada and beyond. His example continues to inspire us all.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of the Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and an honour to present to you Frederick Lowy, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.




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