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Trent University’s Dr. Leonard Conolly Honoured by University of Guelph


Former Trent President and Esteemed Literary Scholar to Receive Honorary Degree in February 2008

Tuesday, November 13, 2007, Peterborough

The University of Guelph announced that it will award Dr. Leonard Conolly, professor of English Literature and former Trent University president, with the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, during its February 19-22, 2008 convocation week ceremonies.

According to University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee, the honorary degree is being bestowed upon Professor Conolly for his “outstanding contribution to the humanities and society in Canada.”

Professor Conolly, who held several senior administrative positions at Guelph from 1981 to 1993, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2002, which is considered Canada's senior academic accolade, and has been a Senior Member of Robinson College, Cambridge, since 1981. In 2005, he received the Distinguished Research Award from Trent.

Professor Conolly is Literary Adviser to the Estate of Bernard Shaw, a Corresponding Scholar of the Academy of the Shaw Festival, and Vice-President of the International Shaw Society. He has been reading, viewing, and studying Shaw's work for 45 years.

Professor Conolly is the founder of two scholarly journals and the author or editor of ten books on Shaw and other theatre and literature subjects. He has also published over fifty research essays and reviews. In 1998 the theatre archives at the University of Guelph, one of the largest such archives in North America, were named the L. W. Conolly Theatre Archives in Professor Conolly’s honour.

In 1993 Professor Conolly received a Volunteer Service Award from the Province of Ontario in recognition of his service as President of the acclaimed Guelph Spring Festival. He also served from 1995 to 1998 as Chair of the Board of Directors of World University Service of Canada.

“News of Professor Conolly’s distinction has generated an enormous amount of pride both at Trent and across academic, literary and theatre communities nationwide,” said Trent University President Bonnie M. Patterson. “Professor Conolly has made an extraordinary contribution to the research and learning environments here at Trent, and we are so pleased to see his life’s work recognized by another distinguished institution of higher learning.”

“I feel deeply honoured to have received this award from the University of Guelph,” Professor Conolly said. “It speaks as much to the support I have received over the years from my family and from colleagues and students at Guelph, at Trent, and around the world as to my own efforts.”

Professor Conolly has an M.A. from McMaster and a Ph.D. from Wales, and joined Trent as its fifth president in 1994.


For further information, please contact:

Professor Leonard Conolly, department of English literature at (705) 748-1011 ext. 6029