Professor David John awarded Germany’s highest honour

Thursday, June 12, 2014

David JohnProfessor David John was awarded Germany’s top honour for his work in promoting German language and culture throughout his career as a professor at the University of Waterloo, including establishing the Waterloo Centre for German Studies.

The Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, called the Bundesverdienstkreuz, honours both Germans and foreigners in all areas of endeavour. Similar to the Order of Canada, this award represents the highest tribute Germany pays for services to the nation in political, economic, social or intellectual fields.

"The University of Waterloo has deep roots in this community, and the Waterloo Centre for German Studies perfectly illustrates our commitment to the people in this region," said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president and vice-chancellor of Waterloo. "I congratulate Professor John on this honour recognizing his contributions to this area's German identity."

Walter Stechel, the consul general of Germany, presented Professor John with the Order of Merit at a ceremony in Kitchener last night.

“This prestigious award is an especially fitting one for David John whose career has been distinguished by his passion for and commitment to German language, literature and culture,” said Douglas Peers, dean of the Faculty of Arts at Waterloo. “We are very proud and grateful for his significant contributions to scholarship, teaching and inter-cultural understanding."

At Waterloo's convocation this week, Professor John was awarded the title of distinguished professor emeritus at the Faculty of Arts convocation ceremonies for his accomplishments in research, teaching, and service.

Professor John retired from Waterloo in 2012 after 38 years as a faculty member in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies. He received his doctorate in German from the University of Toronto. As a scholar of 18th-century German literature, his most profound contributions have been his research into Johann Wolfgang Goethe’s literary works and intercultural stage adaptations. He was named honorary founding director of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies in recognition of the fundraising efforts that led to the establishment of this endowed research centre at Waterloo.

Article from the University of Waterloo media release.

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