I have the honour to present Naomi Hersom, B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed., Ph.D.
Currently the President and Vice-Chancellor of Mount St. Vincent University, Naomi Hersom was born in Winnipeg and graduated from Kelvin High School. She attended The University of Manitoba from which she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1947, a Diploma in Education in 1948, a Bachelor of Education degree in 1955, and a Master of Education degree in 1955. She was awarded the Ph.D. degree from the University of Alberta in 1969.
Dr. Hersom began her distinguished teaching and administrative career in 1954 in the elementary schools of the Winnipeg School Division. Her contribution to the Division's major works program for gifted children was widely acknowledged, and her talent for collaborating with her professional colleagues was recognized in her election to the presidency of the Winnipeg Teachers' Association in 1966.
Following the completion of her doctoral program, Dr. Hersom joined the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta where she concentrated on the development of teacher education programs. She was named Director of the Undergraduate Program at the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia in 1975, and during her tenure she revised student counselling procedures, implemented the live year Special Education B.Ed. program, expanded the Native Indian Teacher Education Programme, and introduced a child study centre experimental program. In 1979 she was named Associate Dean (Academic) and acting Director of the Graduate Division, a capacity in which she coordinated the revision of procedures related to Master's and Doctoral comprehensive examinations and the development of a new M.Ed. in Curriculum Studies.
In 1981, Dr. Hersom began a five year term as Dean of the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan. In this post she worked with colleagues to expand technical and vocational teacher education programs, to develop distance education and microcomputer facilities, to improve the supervisory services for interns, and to augment the research capacity of the College.
Naomi Hersom has made substantial contributions to advancing the cause of education in all of Canada through her dedicated service. She has served with distinction as the President of the Canadian Society for the Study of Higher Education, as the current First Vice-President of the Canadian Education Association, as the President of the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, as a member of the Advisory Academic Panel of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and as a frequent appraiser of education degree programs in Canadian universities.
For her work in education and in other areas of public service, notably with the Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship of Canada, she has been the recipient of an impressive series of awards. These include the George Croskery Award from the Canadian College of Teachers, 1985; Woman of the Year, YWCA, 1986; Invested, Grand Dame of Merit, Order of the Knights of Malta, 1987.
Naomi Hersom has been tireless in her teaching, writing, and administrative efforts in promoting the role of women in education, the improvement of teacher education, and the rightful place of teachers in the curriculum development process. She has done so with dedication, with professional zeal, with style, and as befitting one renowned for her birdwatching abilities, with a keen eye for the important detail.
Mr. Chancellor, it is my privilege to ask, in the name of the Senate of The University of Manitoba, that you now confer on Naomi Hersom, the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
-citation delivered by Arnold Naimark, President, University of Manitoba