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Award History

The John Orr Award is the highest tribute given by the Toronto Branch of the Queen’s University Alumni Association. It rewards significant contribution to the life and welfare of the University. Originally called the Toronto Award, it was renamed in 1966 after Dr. John Orr, MD’23, to honour his valuable contributions to the Medical Faculty and the University during his lifetime (1899-1965).

Who was John Orr?
John OrrJohn Harland Orr (1899-1965) had a lifetime association with Queen’s, graduating in 1923 and taking up a faculty position almost immediately afterward. He was a Professor of Biochemistry and Bacteriology and was eventually made head of the department. He taught until 1963 and continued on with his many other affiliations until his death in 1965.

Towards the end of his life, Professor Orr lived in the house at 32 Queen’s Crescent that had once belonged to Vice-Principal McNeill and is now the Ban Righ Centre.

In addition to his academic involvements, Professor Orr was the Head of the Men’s Residence Board. The student professional term paper writing apartment building named in his honour on west campus, John Orr Tower, is a fitting tribute to his work on this board. When the Student’s Memorial Union (now the John Deutsch University Centre) burned down in 1947, Mr. Orr led the campaign to have a new one built as soon as possible.

Professor Orr also served as President of the Alumni Association and, in 1966, the Toronto Branch of the Association renamed their highest award for exceptional alumni achievement in his honour. In addition to his many years of service, Professor Orr was also a benefactor of Queen’s and left $280,000 to the University when he died.

Year       Recipient

2012       Charles Baillie
2011       Tom Williams, LLD’09
2010       Chaplain Brian Yealland, MDiv’72
2009       Tom O’Neill, Com’67, LLD’05
2008       The Hon. Peter Lougheed (deceased)
2007       Bill McLatchie
2006       David G. Whiting, Sc’65
2005       Donald Elliott (deceased)
2004       Andrew Pipe, Arts’70, Meds’74
2003       Bill Leggett, LLD’04 and Claire Leggett
2002       Shelagh Rogers, Artsci’78
2001       Bruce Alexander, Com’60
2000       Alan Broadbent, Arts’71
1999       David Bonham
1998       Margaret Hooey, LLD’02
1997       Doug Hargreaves, Arts’60
1996       Duncan G. Sinclair, PhD’63, LLD’00
1995       Richard G. Stackhouse, Com’53
1994       David C. Smith, LLD’94 (deceased)
1993       Hugh C. Conn, BSc’31, LLD’81 (deceased), Jim M. Courtright, BSc’41 (deceased), Russ J. Kennedy, Sc’41, DSc’93. & Robert L. Uffen, DSc’84 (deceased)
1992       Elspeth Baugh, BA’49 (deceased)
1991       Norman M. Rogers, Arts’43, LLD’87
1990       Agnes M. Benidickson, BA’41, LLD’79 (deceased)
1989       E. Harry Botterell, LLD’73 (deceased)
1988       Walter Light, BSc’49, LLD’81 (deceased)
1987       John Meisel, LLD’96
1986       A. Marshall Laverty, LLD’91 (deceased)
1985       D. Roland Michener, LLD’58 (deceased)
1984       Ronald L. Watts, LLD’84
1973       Robertson Davies, BA’36, LLD’62 (deceased)
1972       Herb Hamilton, BA’32, LLD’75 (deceased)
1970       John J. Deutsch, BCom’35, LLD’74 (deceased)
1968       James A. Corry, LLD’70 (deceased)
1967       Frank Tindall, LLD’89 (deceased)
1966       John Orr, MD’23 (posthumously)
1965       John B. Stirling (deceased)
1963       William N. McLeod
1962       Donald I. McLeod, BA’08 (deceased)
1961       Hugh A. McLeod, Leonard W. Brockington (deceased), James R. Gordon (deceased)
1960       Lorne A. Pierce (deceased)
1959       William A. Mackintosh, BA, MA’16 (deceased)
1957       Ernest C. Gill (deceased)
1955       James M. MacDonnell (deceased)
1954       Edwin A. Baker, Sci’14 (deceased)

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