Honorary Degrees

Joseph Murray

Emeritus Professor of Surgery, Harvard University; Nobel laureate in Medicine, 1990

A plastic surgeon and pioneer in the field of kidney transplantation, Dr. Murray performed the first successful kidney transplant at the Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston in 1954. A founding member of the International Craniofacial Society, the International Transplantation Society and the Society of Head and Neck Surgeons, he has been named an honorary fellow of surgical associations throughout the world, including the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. In 1990, he was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Professor Murray is a longtime friend of McGill, and a number of members of the Faculty of Medicine are his former students and colleagues.

Claude Corbo

Philosopher; author; playwright; rector of UQAM, 1986-1995

Claude Corbo was educated at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf and Université de Montréal, where he received a PhD in philosophy. He joined the Department of Political Science of the Université du Québec à Montréal at its founding in 1969, teaching courses in liberalism and political thought. Beginning in 1974, he took on a variety of administrative positions at UQAM, culminating in his appointment as rector in 1986. Throughout his career, Professor Corbo has also been active in the community, serving such organizations as theatre groups, the Board of Trade, Centraide and the Society of Quebec Museums. Among the many distinctions he has received are the Ordre national de mérite de France and the medal of the Université de Montréal. Claude Corbo came to McGill in January as a visiting scholar in the Department of Philosophy.

Catherine Chard Wisnicki

Architect (retired); Emeritus Professor of Architecture, University of British Columbia

Catherine Chard Wisnicki was the first woman to graduate from McGill's School of Architecture (1943), and did so with distinction, receiving the Governor General's Gold Medal and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Medal. Working with several major architectural and planning firms, she was involved in the design of the town of Arvida and the development of prefabricated housing for post-war factory conversion in Toronto. Following a move to Vancouver in 1946, Catherine Chard Wisnicki became an inspiring teacher and a pioneer of the West Coast Style. A colleague at UBC describes her work as "an illuminating example of the ways in which one Canadian architect and urban historian...imbued the technology as well as formal and spatial explorations of modernism with a local resonance" and cites the "rigour, wit, encouragement and perceptive criticism" she brought to the classroom.

J. Robert S. Prichard

President, University of Toronto; Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ontario

Professor Prichard is the 13th president of the University of Toronto, serving previously as dean of the Faculty of Law from 1984 to 1990. He studied economics at Swarthmore College and completed an MBA at the University of Chicago in 1971. He received his LLB from U of T in 1975, and was the gold medalist in his final year. He earned an LLM from Yale the following year. Professor Prichard's scholarship has focused on the intersection of law and economics, and he has written more than 40 books and articles on labour law, torts, medical malpractice, federalism and public policy formation. A member of the Board of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada and the Executive Committee of the Council of Ontario Universities, he also serves on the Administrative Board of the International Association of Universities. Professor Prichard was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1994.

Jonathan Zittell Smith

Robert O. Anderson Distinguished Service Professor of the Humanities, University of Chicago

Jonathan Smith completed a BA in philosophy at Haverford College in 1960 and earned a PhD in the history of religions from Yale in 1969. He began teaching at the University of Chicago in 1968, serving as dean of the Humanities Division from 1977 to 1982, when he was named to his current position. In nominating Professor Smith for an honorary degree, Dean Donna Runnalls writes, "He is highly regarded by his colleagues in the field of religious studies for his fresh insights, ingenious scholarship and broad comparativist approach" prompting "the rethinking of a range of phenomena which have more frequently been viewed through the narrower lenses of specialized study." A prolific author and an award-winning teacher, Professor Smith has been invited to lecture or give papers at more than 100 universities.

Ian Lucas

Emeritus Professor of Agriculture, University of London

Obtaining an MSc from McGill's Macdonald College in 1949, Ian Lucas worked in Britain and New Zealand at several agricultural colleges and research stations. Named Professor of Agriculture at University College of North Wales in 1961, he served as head of the Department of Agriculture and director of the University Farms. In 1977, he was appointed principal of Wye College, University of London. Under his 11-year tenure, the college increased enrolment by more than 40% and expanded teaching and research at a time when British universities were being subjected to a series of rationalizations. Always at the forefront of research on swine, cattle and sheep nutrition, he has served on agricultural or educational missions to France, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Oman, Egypt, South Korea, Australia and Ghana. For his service to agriculture, he was named a Commander of the British Empire and an Honorary Member of the British Council.