May 28, 2008
GREETINGS Mr. Chancellor: Richard Pound, Mme. Principal: Heather Monroe-Blum, Distinguished Faculty Members, parents, friends, members of my family, and most of all fellow graduates
I am humbled and greatly honoured by having received McGill’s Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, awarded by the Faculty from which my husband graduated in Architecture in 1945. Initially McGill was launched by a generous land grant homestead of James McGill in 1829. Since then this University has grown into one of the most
important global centres of teaching and learning. Land was the beginning and land provides continuity.
Je suis humilié et considérablement honoré en ayant reçu le docteur honorifique de McGill du degré de la Science, attribué par la faculté duquelle mon mari a reçu un diplôme dans l'architecture en dix neuf cent quarante cinq (1945). McGill a commencé en raison de la ferme généreuse de concession de terre de James McGill en dix huit cent vingt-neuf (1829). Depuis lors cette l'université s'est développée dans un des centres les plus importants de l'enseignement et de l'étude globalement.
Much has changed since then, but many issues have remained the same. Land is still the foundation of life and today’s burgeoning urban populations demand has ever-increasing and intensified uses.
Over a hundred years ago the concept and title of Landscape Architect was coined by Frederick Law Olmsted, who designed New York’s Central Park and in 1877 created Mount Royal park, right in front of us. This park shaped Montreal and its McGill campus. It has become the lung of the city guaranteeing pleasure for generations
by maintaining the naturalistic character of the site and inserting this park into
an urban framework.
EXPO 67 was another seminal event in the life of Montreal, which encouraged unique landscape experiments, including the Childrens Creative Centre and demonstrating the city of the future with new architectural expression. In this continuity of decisive actions no one has had a more fundamental impact recently than Phyllis Lambert,
starting with Milton Park, her leadership in restoration, conservation and rehabilitation of buildings and land, and the creation of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Her efforts were recognized yesterday with the Jane Jacobs Prize. Thank you, Phyllis!
Fellow Graduates: You are born of the generation of ‘baby boomers’.
Yours is the ‘computer generation’ – iPods are attached to your
hands, cell phones glued to your ears, you talk on Facebook and the
computer demands constant attention. In my day paper and pencil
produced drawings, which helped to envision the world as an ever-
McGill Convocation Address continued