March 23, 2011

Boyer Lecture

Sir John Daniel Delivers 40th Anniversary Boyer Family Lecture at SUNY Empire State College: “Open Learning: Reflecting on the Past, Celebrating the Present, and Creating the Future”

40th Anniversary Logo

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – March 23, 2011) – Sir John Daniel, chief executive officer of the Commonwealth of Learning, and one of the world’s leading authorities on open and distance education, today delivered the Boyer Family Lecture at SUNY Empire State College’s All College Conference.

Left to right: College President Alan R. Davis, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, Sir John Daniel

Left to right: College President Alan R. Davis, SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, and Sir John Daniel

“It is a great honor to give the Boyer Lecture and a double honor to deliver it as Empire State College, Ernest Boyer’s creation, celebrates its 40th anniversary,” said Daniel. “I congratulate the students and alumni, the academic and supporting staff, and the president and former presidents on all that Empire State College has achieved in those four decades.”

SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher joined college President Alan R. Davis and SUNY Empire State College faculty, students and staff at the lecture.

“As a former colleague of Ernest Boyer and an internationally recognized expert on open learning and distance education, it is entirely fitting and appropriate to have Sir John Daniel provide the Boyer Family lecture in honor of SUNY Empire State College’s 40th anniversary,” said Chancellor Zimpher. “Through his lecture and continuing friendship with the college, Sir John contributes wisdom and practical experience to the implementation of OPEN SUNY one of the 18 initiatives of our strategic plan, The Power of SUNY.”

The chancellor added, “President Alan Davis and Empire State College are playing a leading role in moving OPEN SUNY forward because of the college’s demonstrated success in open and distance education during the past 40 years. I join Sir John in congratulating SUNY Empire State College on its 40th anniversary.”

“I am pleased and honored to host such accomplished and respected leaders and educators in Sir John Daniel and Chancellor Zimpher,” said college President Alan R. Davis. “Today’s lecture by Sir John helps to mark the college’s 40th anniversary, an important milestone in SUNY Empire State College’s history. At the same time, Sir John contributes innovative thinking, new ideas and practical guidance as we work with the chancellor to further develop OPEN SUNY and as we move forward as New York’s open university.”

A copy of Daniel’s lecture is available. 40th Anniversary Boyer Family Lecture (PDF  179kB)

Daniel was chosen to deliver the Boyer Family Lecture because of his expertise and achievements and because of his long friendship with the college and with its creator, former SUNY Chancellor and United States Commissioner of Education Dr. Ernest L. Boyer.

The SUNY Board of Trustees formally established Empire State College Jan. 27, 1971, as a statewide institution at the urging of Boyer. The board has also approved the conferral of an honorary doctorate for Daniel at an upcoming graduation.

About John Sir John Daniel

Daniel was knighted in 1994 by her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, for his services to education, recognizing the achievements of his long and distinguished career as an academic and administrator in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Prior to his current position at the Commonwealth of Learning, he held senior positions at universities in Canada and the U.K. as well as serving as assistant director-general for education at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Daniel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (First Class Honors, Metallurgy) and a Master of Arts degree from Oxford University. He earned his Docteur ès-Sciences Physiques (mention: Très honorable) from the Université de Paris, a Master of Arts (Educational Technology) from Concordia University; and a diploma in theology, A.Th. from Thorneloe University, as well as numerous honorary doctorates and awards and other honors.

Among more than 300 publications, Daniel has authored the books “Mega-Universities and Knowledge Media: Technology Strategies for Higher Education” and “Mega-Schools, Technology and Teachers: Achieving Education for All.”

About SUNY Empire State College

Celebrating its 40th anniversary throughout 2011, SUNY Empire State College was established in 1971 to offer adult learners the opportunity to earn associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the State University of New York. Students learn through independent studies, online courses, seminars and residencies. Learners also may earn credit for prior college-level learning from work and life experience.

The college serves more than 20,000 students worldwide at 34 locations in New York state and online. Its 60,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, not-for-profit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

For additional information, visit For more on the 40th anniversary, please follow this link.


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