Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

February 08, 1999

Noam Chomsky among three honorary degree recipients

Noam Chomsky, a world-renowned linguist and cultural theorist, will receive an honorary degree from the University of Guelph during winter convocation Feb. 17 and 18. Some 450 students will graduate during four ceremonies.

Chomsky, Institute Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will receive an honorary Doctor of Letters. He will speak during the College of Arts and College of Physical and Environmental Sciences commencement ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 10 a.m. All commencement ceremonies will take place in War Memorial Hall.

Chomsky, a prominent American linguist and political activist, has been credited with revolutionizing the field of linguistics. He changed the focus of linguistics from a concern with methods of classification to a search for explanatory principles. Chomsky also has been described as the exemplary public intellectual and oppositional thinker of our era and as an articulate and persuasive critic of U.S. foreign policy. His book, "Manufacturing Consent," also examined the role of academics and journalists.

Born in 1928, Chomsky received his Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania, and joined the faculty at MIT in 1955. He is the author of more than 40 books and many articles, and is among the world's most frequently cited authors in the arts, humanities and social sciences. Chomsky has received honorary degrees from universities in India, Britain and the U.S., as well as numerous awards and citations. Chomsky also will speak at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16 in Guelph at the Chalmers United Church, 50 Quebec Street.

The University also will award honorary degrees to George Sayers Bain, president and vice-chancellor at The Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Robert W. Gillham, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Waterloo.

Bain will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. during ceremonies for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences. Bain is an international scholar in labour economics and industrial relations, and the author or editor of more than 12 books and 37 research papers.

Gillham will receive an honorary Doctor of Science Thursday, Feb. 18 at 2:30 p.m. during ceremonies for the Ontario Agricultural College and Ontario Veterinary College. He is well-known for his inventions and research on ground water clean-up technologies.

Convocation ceremonies for the College of Biological Science will be Thursday at 10 a.m. Professor Emeritus Roy C. Anderson, an award-winning parasitologist and former chair of the Department of Zoology, will address graduates.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120 Ext. 3338.

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