Dr. Meekison brings great insight and infinite wisdom to all his endeavours. Caring and loyal university administrator, respected teacher and researcher, astute political scientist and long-time practitioner of Canadian federalism, he is truly an enviable example of one who approaches each assignment with great integrity. As someone who has benefited enormously from his strong support, I can vouch for his supreme loyalty to all with whom he serves and to the numerous universities and other institutions in which he is involved.
Generous with his knowledge and vast experience in the area of Canadian federalism and constitutional development, Peter Meekison has served as a constitutional advisor to the Government of Alberta; as a member of a Royal Commission in our country; and as a consultant to emerging national federations in other parts of the world.
He received his early education in public schools in Vancouver. At the University of British Columbia he obtained Bachelor's Degrees both in Mechanical Engineering and in Economics and Political Science - an indication that even then his interests were wide. Graduate degrees in Political Science followed from the University of Western Ontario and from Duke University.
Dr. Meekison began his esteemed career at the University of Alberta in 1967, initially as Assistant Professor of Political Science and, within six short years, he was promoted first to Associate Professor and then, in 1973, to Professor. He served as Department Chair of Political Science, as an Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, and, from 1984 to 1991, under two University Presidents, he filled the demanding role of Vice-President (Academic). He then returned to full time teaching and research and held the prestigious Belzberg Chair in Constitutional Studies in the Faculty of Law.
In addition to his teaching and leadership roles, Peter Meekison, while on leave from the University, served with Alberta's Ministry of Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs and, for more than seven of those years, as the Deputy Minister of that Department. He was recognized by both Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Lougheed as one of the creators of what became the amending formula of our Constitution.
In 1993, Peter Meekison was appointed by the Government of Canada to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The report, to which he contributed much, became the basis for understanding and furthering the relationships between Aboriginal peoples and Canadian society. It touched on self government, land claims, economic development, health, housing, education and justice.
Peter Meekison is an Officer of the Order of Canada and he has received numerous other awards and accolades including the Queen's Silver and Golden Jubilee medals; an honourary doctorate from the University of Alberta; Canada's 125th Anniversary Medal; and the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta's Medal for Excellence in Public Administration. Several years ago Dr. Meekison served as administrator of Okanagan University College, overseeing its transformation into UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College. In recognition of his contributions to student life, UBC Okanagan intends to name its student centre in his honour.
He has a long history at Royal Roads University. Peter Meekison was a member of the Board of Governors when his peers selected him as Board Chair in March of this year. For a period he served as Acting Vice-President (Academic) and Provost.
I know, Peter, that you would want to emphasize the critical contributions of Patti in all your accomplishments. How very fitting, therefore, that when your friends, colleagues and former students at the University of Alberta wanted to recognize your devotion to students, they created the Patti and Peter Meekison Bursary.
Peter Meekison has a deep appreciation of the regional, cultural and other important characteristics in our province, in our country, and in the world. He has been a valued mentor to students and colleagues alike, he has demonstrated a life-long commitment to innovative thinking, and he has played a powerful role in the sustainability of this country. These are principles embraced by Royal Roads University as it serves the learning needs of a changing world.
We are proud and happy, therefore, to welcome him this morning. It gives me great pleasure to present Peter Meekison to be invested with the Chancellor's duties and robes of office.