The Norman Hillmer Doctoral Scholarship in History has been established to honour Professor Hillmer at the apex of his remarkable Carleton career. One of Canada’s leading historians, Professor Hillmer came to Carleton in 1990 after earning his Ph.D. at Cambridge as a Commonwealth Scholar and serving for nine years as Senior Historian at the Department of National Defence in Ottawa. In 2016, he was named a Chancellor’s Professor and appointed to the Order of Canada.
Throughout his amazingly productive academic career, during which he has published 31 authored or edited books, Dr. Hillmer has remained deeply committed to teaching at all undergraduate and graduate levels, from the first-year Canadian history course he regularly teaches all the way to the 55 MA and 16 doctoral students whose theses he has supervised. As Professor Hillmer noted at an event to honour his appointment to the Order of Canada, teaching has been his life’s mission. Over the course of his twenty-seven years at Carleton, he has won every teaching award the university offers, including the Graduate Mentoring Award in 2010, the award’s inaugural year.
The Norman Hillmer Doctoral Scholarship celebrates exceptional achievement at the doctoral level because Professor Hillmer has devoted particular attention to graduate teaching, and his former graduate students have gone on to diverse and often high-level positions across government, in museums and archives, and in universities around the globe. Always Professor Hillmer helps his graduate students produce their best work, no matter how many drafts or weekend hours of his time this requires. His mentorship of students continues long after they have left Carleton and is characterized by the unusual belief that he has as much to learn from them as they do from him.
This scholarship celebrates Professor Hillmer’s legacy and benefits a deserving doctoral student in the Department of History every two years. It serves to recognize the exceptional achievement of future generations of promising historians, in perpetuity. Each recipient will be offered the opportunity to present part of his/her research at a lecture organized by the Department of History.