|Honorary Degree Recipient, Walter Podiluk, 1987 (Photograph Collection, A-7986)|
Convocation date: May 20, 1987
Discipline / contribution: education ; public service
Citation / biographical information:
Eminent Chancellor, on behalf of the Council and Senate, I present to youDegree received: Doctor of Laws
Born in 1927, he took his elementary and secondary education in the district of Blaine Lake, then attended Saskatoon Teachers College for one year. After five years as teacher and principal in Turtleford, he moved to Weyburn as an officer with the Provincial Department of Public Health, but his first love called him back to earn his Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan in 1955. Father Basil Sullivan at St. Thomas More College urged him then to seek a position with the Saskatoon Catholic Board of Education. He became principal of St. Mary's School. In 1963 he was named Assistant Superintendent of Schools, and in 1967 Director of Education. He held this position until 1982, when he was asked to become Deputy Minister of Social Services, and then Deputy Minister of Health, his present position.
Walter Podiluk gave outstanding leadership to the Saskatoon Catholic schools. He supervised a period of rapid growth, and developed a school system which was characterized by high morale and mutual respect among the board, the administration and the teaching staff. He promoted the concept of associate schools to meet the needs of particular minority groups and the development of French-English and Ukrainian-English bilingual schools.
He has been active in the direction of both provincial and national educational organizations, and was honored in 1983 by the Canadian Education Association. He has been president of the Ukrainian Council of Canada and the Sheptytsky Society of Saskatchewan, chairman of the board of Sheptytsky Institute, co-chairman of the Saskatoon Council for Christians and Jews, on the board of St. Paul's Hospital, director of Saskatoon Folkfest, a member of the Saskatoon Board of Trade and of the Municipal Planning Commission, treasurer of the Century Saskatoon Society, member of the board of directors of SaskTel. For his work in Catholic education he has received the recognition of the medal Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice from the Holy See.
His participation in the governing bodies of St. Thomas More College has been of special importance to the University of Saskatchewan. He was the representative of the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Saskatchewan on the Corporation of St. Thomas More from 1972 to 1984, and from 1973 to 1982 a member of the Board of Governors of the College. His wisdom and geniality were immensely valuable. Of particular significance was his work on the Consultation Committee of the Board and the St. Thomas More Faculty Union from its establishment in 1977 until he was forced by his other duties to retire in 1982. He won the respect of all concerned and helped to form a working collegial atmosphere from which all have benefited. In awarding him a degree the University also marks the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the first graduating class of St. Thomas More College.
A strong family man, with deep faith and love for God and for his neighbor, Walter Podiluk has brought his personal virtues into the work of education and of government. He has contributed greatly to city, province, country and church, and his work as an educational administrator at all levels has touched the lives of thousands of graduates of this University.
Eminent Chancellor. I present to you Walter Podiluk and ask that you confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
Degree presented by: Rev. T.J. Hanrahan
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