Today we honour University of Manitoba graduate Doris Baskerville Badir, who has had a long and productive career of sixty years of exceptional service as an educator, international home economics consultant, administrator, and professional leader. Her contributions have been in the cause of alleviating poverty, strengthening families and caring for children, not only in Canada, but in many countries in the developing world.
Doris was born in Dominion City, Manitoba and received her Bachelor of Science in Home Economics from the University of Manitoba. She began her career with the Manitoba Department of Agriculture as a supervisor of the Girls’ Club program, then moved to Macdonald College at the University of Guelph, lecturing in child development and family life, as well as serving as the Dean of Women. After a graduate degree at the London School of Economics, she joined the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations as a Home Economics Expert and served two years in Cairo, Egypt. She then moved to Edmonton, Alberta and began a twenty-year career in the now Human Ecology department at the University of Alberta, moving from the position of sessional lecturer to the Dean of the Faculty of Home Economics. This was followed by an appointment as Special Advisor to the President on Employment Equity, one of the first of such positions in Canada.
As a professional leader, Doris has been active nationally and internationally, as President of the Canadian Home Economics Association from 1976 to 1978, and President of the International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE) from 1988 to 1992. During that time, IFHE influenced the United Nations to declare 1994 the International Year of the Family. This international event brought recognition to the importance of the family as the basic building block of society, and was the catalyst for extensive research and publication on issues affecting the family. In recognition of her many contributions, she was named a Patron of the International Year of the Family, and gave the keynote address at the World NGO Forum in Malta that launched the year. During that period, her research, writing and speaking on the importance of the family extended to Germany, Austria, Thailand, and Finland, as well as many Canadian provinces.
Dr. Badir has received many awards recognizing her outstanding leadership and service, including two previous honorary doctorates. She continues to work in a volunteer capacity bringing her concern for others, her integrity and her knowledge to projects that improve the quality of life for individuals and families.
Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour and privilege to ask, in the name of the Senate of the University of Manitoba, that you confer upon Doris Baskerville Badir, the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
-citation delivered by mentor, Dr. Ruth Berry, Faculty of Human Ecology