Crowning achievement

(Edmonton) On March 16, Myer Horowitz, University of Alberta president emeritus and dean and professor emeritus of education, was awarded Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Office of the Governor General of Canada in a ceremony at B.C. Government House.

The Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal is being awarded to 60,000 Canadians across the country this year. It is part of a larger celebration of the 60th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada.

“I’m very pleased, of course,” said Horowitz, who sat as the U of A’s ninth president from 1979 to 1989. “It's nice to be remembered, even though I'm in my 23rd year of retirement.”

There are many at the U of A who have fond memories of Horowitz. Current dean of the Faculty of Education Fern Snart says she remembers an “inspirational educator and leader on the Canadian scene and internationally for five decades.”

“He is still referenced with pride and affection on the University of Alberta campus, based on a deanship and a presidency of intellectual and human strength and noteworthy positive impact,” said Snart. “He remains a visionary in Canadian education and he has provided a model for hundreds of educators and administrators who have followed him and been inspired by him�including myself.”

Looking back at his long and successful career in the Faculty of Education, Horowitz says things have changed since he began teaching elementary school in Montreal back in 1952.

“2012 is quite different from even when I retired from the U of A presidency in 1989,” said the 79-year-old Horowitz. “In my view, however, what is really important hasn't changed at all, and that is our need to focus on children, youth and adults as individuals who have particular needs and special possibilities. It continues to be crucial to treat each other with respect.”

Horowitz continues his work at the University of Victoria. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1990, and has received eight honorary doctrate degrees. The Myer Horowitz Theatre on the U of A North Campus is named in his honour.