I have the honour to present Dr. Isabel Auld, B.A., M.A., Doctor of Laws (Saskatchewan) and Chancellor of The University of Manitoba.
Dr. Auld is a distinguished daughter of the Canadian Prairies who earned first a Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Saskatchewan and then a Master's degree in Genetics. As a gifted scholar she was awarded a National Research Council Scholarship which she took to McGill for a year of further graduate study before coming back west to take a position with the Canada Department of Agriculture's world famous "Rust Lab", located on the University of Manitoba campus. In 1941, she was a biotechnologist before the word was coined.
Dr. Auld's career as a scientist was brief. She married Murray Auld at a time when married women seldom worked and proceeded to build a life-long career of community volunteer work. She has used her analytical skills and creative energy unstintingly as an organizer of enterprises dedicated to improving the quality of life of her fellow citizens.
The calibre of her contributions to pro-active groups such as the Consumers Association oLCanada and to governing bodies such as the Board of the Family Bureau of Winnipeg was recognized nationally when she was awarded a Canada Centennial Medal in 1967.
In 1968 Dr. Auld was appointed to a five-year term on the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba, beginning what was to be become a long-term commitment. She served for four of those years as the Board's representative on the Senate and on its Executive gaining the respect of all senators for her balanced judgement and wholesome concern for all University constituents.
Dr. Auld extended her knowledge and understanding of the University across a wide community network where she commanded respect for her continuing work with the boards of social services ranging from the Middlechurch Home for the aged to Hargrave House, a residence for women. She became our unofficial agent of goodwill.
In 1977 the role was made official. Dr. Auld was appointed to her first of three terms as Chancellor of the University of Manitoba, our "chosen friend". As titular head of the University, she has made it her special mission to interpret to us the needs of the community which she knows so well through concurrent service on the Social Planning Council, the Board of the Health Sciences Centre and other agencies such as Canada World Youth. She is our eyes and ears on the world, but also a thoughtful mentor and an effective advocate.
With this Convocation, Dr. Auld will complete her ninth year as Chancellor of the University of Manitoba, a volunteer position which she has fulfilled with distinction and grace. As Chancellor, Dr. Auld's most visible responsibility has been to confer degrees and diplomas on all graduands of our more than 65 programs. That adds up to about 27,000 congratulatory handshakes, each of them delivered with warmth and sincerity. She has also been a dedicated member of the Board of Governors, its Executive Committee, Senate and related Committees. However it is her effectiveness as an Ambassador-at-large for the University, that has gained Isabel Auld the lasting respect and affection of all members of the university community, academics, administrators, and students alike.
Mr. Vice-Chancellor, it is an honour and a privilege for me to ask in the name of the Senate of the University of Manitoba, that you confer on Isabel Auld the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.