Dr. Richard J. Currie, UNB’s chancellor emeritus, has been named to the Order of New Brunswick for his accomplishments as a business executive and for his contributions to public education in the province.
“This is fitting recognition for all that Dr. Currie has done for New Brunswick. He has had a phenomenally successful business career and has invested tremendous energy, time and resources into making New Brunswick an even better province,” said Dr. Eddy Campbell, president and vice-chancellor at UNB.
“I congratulate him on this latest honour. We are fortunate at UNB to have had the benefit of his stewardship and generosity over many years. He has a deep interest in our university, its faculty, staff and students, and a clear belief in the power of education to transform lives and create opportunity,” Dr. Campbell said.
Premier Brian Gallant made the announcement on Monday, Aug. 8, New Brunswick Day, citing Dr. Currie’s legacy “as a business leader and for his contributions to the social, economic and cultural fabric of New Brunswick through his dedication and significant support of public education.”
Dr. Currie received the honorary designation of chancellor emeritus at UNB in 2013, after serving 10 years as chancellor. Born in Saint John, he attended UNB as a Beaverbrook Scholar, beginning studies in chemical engineering in 1955. He completed his master of business administration at Harvard in 1970, and in 1972, joined Loblaw Companies. In 1976, he became president. Twenty years later, he was named president of George Weston Ltd. and, in 2002, was appointed the chair of BCE, Canada’s largest telecommunications company. Dr. Currie was named one of Canada’s 10 greatest chief executives of all time by the Globe & Mail.
In keeping with his belief of the transformative power of education, he supports the Currie Scholarships at UNB. As a generous benefactor of our university, he donated more than $20 million to support the construction of the Richard J. CURRIE CENTER on the Fredericton campus.
Dr. Currie and nine other New Brunswickers will be formally inducted into the Order in a ceremony at Government House this fall. Many of the others are also graduates of UNB and/or have been honoured by the university with an honorary degree: soprano Measha Brueggergosman (DLITT ’11), Atlantic Ballet’s Susan Chalmers-Gauvin (BA ’96, DLITT ‘12), retired senator Erminie Cohen (LLDSJ ’01), family physician Michael Perley (BSc ’78) and journalist Jackie Webster (BA ’52).
“A big part of what makes this province so special is our people. Congratulations to all of the recipients being named to the Order of New Brunswick,” the premier said. “Through their extraordinary leadership, work and dedication, they have inspired others and have helped make New Brunswick the best place to live, work and raise a family.”
The Order of New Brunswick was established in 2000 to recognize individuals who have demonstrated a high level of excellence and achievement in their particular field. Since 2002, more than 150 accomplished individuals have been invested with the order for their dedication and service to the province, its people and communities.
Media contact: Sonya Gilks