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Honorary degree citation - Garrett Herman

By: Richard Renaud, June 2016

Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you a very very old and dear friend of mine - Dr. Garrett Herman, esteemed businessperson, devoted philanthropist, and world authority and preeminent collector of all things Darwinian. 

A renowned expert on Charles Darwin, Garrett has a collection of more than 5,000 volumes of Darwin’s works and regularly speaks on the scientist to groups including the New York Academy of Medicine.

He has established and is the Chairman of the Charles Darwin Foundation of Canada – now known as the Galapagos Conservancy Canada.

This charity is part of the friends of Galapagos global network which is dedicated to advancing and protecting the work of celebrated English naturalist Dr. Charles Darwin, a mandate they fulfill by supporting the conservation needs of the Galapagos Islands and preserving the Islands’ biodiverse ecosystem.

Through his energizing involvement, Garrett has worked diligently to save the floreana mockingbird from extinction, continuous re-assessment the Galapagos green turtle population, and the restoration of Pinta Island.

His personal collection of Darwin’s works is an invaluable scholarly resource, which contains volumes on evolution, countless letters of personal correspondence and a scale model of the HMS Beagle.

Garrett’s Toronto home is both a museum and pilgrimage site for researchers fascinated by Darwin’s ground-breaking contributions to evolutionary theory.

He is a native Montrealer and proud Concordian, having supported the University in so many ways over the years.

Garrett attended Loyola High School – where we met as Grade 7 students.  He was my neighbor in a semi-detached house at the corner of Dufferin and Queen Mary.  He went on to attend Sir George Williams University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

A man of many causes, he is a director of Grapes for Humanity Canada, a foundation supported by the top ten wine producing families of the world, which raises funds to support the welfare and education of children in impoverished countries. 

Dr. Herman is a past director of the MS Scientific Research Foundation and was chairman for many years of the Annual LOM Gala and Auction to benefit the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

On his business side, Dr. Garrett Herman is a veteran investment banker.

Currently serving as chief executive officer and chairman at Loewen Ondaatje McCutcheon Limited – the first independent research-based institutional equity firm in Canada.  Prior to which, he spent 20 years at Merrill Lynch.

A respected figure in the Canadian business community, Dr. Herman was a member of the Consular Corps of Ontario where he served as President of the Canada Sri Lanka Business Council, as well as honorary consul for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

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

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