Historian Natalie Zemon Davis
and former Irish Prime Minister John Bruton will be awarded
honorary degrees from Memorial University at next month’s
Memorial’s annual fall convocation takes place Friday,
Oct 17. Over 600 graduate and undergraduate degrees will
be awarded during two sessions of convocation. As well,
six faculty members will be awarded the designation professor
John Bruton will be awarded an
honorary doctor of laws degree at the 10 a.m. session of
Mr. Bruton is a lawyer and farm owner, and a member of the
centrist Fine Gael party. He studied in University College
Dublin, from which he received a bachelor of arts degree,
before studying to become a barrister in the King's Inn.
He was first elected to the Irish parliament in 1969 and
during the 1970s served as a junior minister. In Fine Gael
cabinets during the 1980s, he was minister for industry,
trade, commerce, and tourism and finance minister. He became
party leader in 1990 and was subsequently prime minister
(1994–97), heading a three-party left-right coalition.
As prime minister, Mr. Bruton promoted peace in Northern
Ireland. Firmly opposed to the IRA, he suggested that only
a majority vote by Ulster could lead to its incorporation
into Ireland. In 1995 Mr. Bruton successfully campaigned
for constitutional changes allowing divorce in the Irish
He resigned as leader of Fine Gael in 2001. Currently, Mr.
Bruton is vice-president of the European People's Party
and vice-president of the Christian Democrat International.
Natalie Zemon Davis will be awarded an honorary doctor of
letters degree at the 3 p.m. session of convocation.
A foremost practitioner of the “new social history,”
Dr. Davis engaged in almost anthropological research into
the lives of the artisans, labourers, and peasants of 16th-century
France, resulting in such works as The Return of Martin
Dr. Davis was educated at Smith College, Radcliffe College,
and the University of Michigan, from which she received
her PhD in 1959. She has taught at Brown University; at
the University of Toronto (where with Jill Ker Conway she
founded one of the first courses in history of women to
be taught in North America); the University of California
at Berkeley; at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences
Sociales in Paris; and, after 1978, at Princeton University,
where she became the Henry Charles Lea Professor of History
and Director of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical
Studies. Now professor emeritus from Princeton, she is currently
adjunct professor of History and Anthropology, Senior Fellow
in Comparative Literature, and Professor of Medieval Studies
at the University of Toronto.
Dr. Davis has been awarded honorary degrees from the Université
de Lyon II, the Universität Osnabrück, Cambridge
University, the University of Edinburgh, and the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem; and the University of Toronto,
the University of Chicago, Columbia University, and Harvard
University among other North American institutions.
Those receiving the designation professor emeritus
are: Dr. Gerhard Bassler, History; Dr. George Fodor, Medicine;
Dr. Gordon Handcock, Geography; Dr. Maxwell House, Medicine;
and Dr. Rasul A. Khan, Biology.
The category of professor emeritus is open only
to retired members of the faculty. To be eligible, a person
must have served at least 10 years as a regular full-time
faculty member at Memorial and must have held the rank of
professor upon retirement. The prime criterion for nomination
is sustained, outstanding scholarly work and/or service
to the university.