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Galen Weston receives Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Huron University

Jon Munn, Director, Marketing & Communications
Nov 23, 2017

Huron University is pleased to announce the granting of an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree to Mr. Galen Weston.

Mr. Weston is one of Huron University's most prominent friends and associates to grace the halls of the university, which makes the granting of this honorary degree a particularly important event. As chairman emeritus of George Weston Ltd., a Canadian food and retail giant founded by his grandfather in 1882, Mr. Weston is one of this country’s greatest business leaders. Through his lifelong commitment to philanthropy, he has sought to make a difference in the world around him.

“Galen Weston is not only a great Canadian but also one of the most accomplished persons to have even studied in the more than one-hundred-and-fifty-year history of Huron University,” Dr. Barry Craig, Principal of Huron University, said. 

Huron is an institution that seeks to challenge students to be Leaders with Heart. Developing leadership with heart means nurturing the individual gifts of students while prioritizing their care for the people and world around them. Huron achieves this by encouraging their engagement with and contributions to solving the world’s challenges. Huron University is honoured to recognize Mr. Weston’s people-focused approach to business and philanthropic attitude that has inspired a rich history of giving to arts & culture, medical research, and community programs.

After Mr. Weston successfully ran retail and grocery stores in Ireland, he took over Loblaws in 1972, which was then run by his father. Loblaws, a then-struggling retailer, was turned around by redesign and the smart thinking of Mr. Weston. Weston’s strategic leadership made Loblaws into a Canadian institution. Although Mr. Weston last year passed the reins of the company to his son Galen Weston Jr., he continues to be involved in the empire he worked so hard to build.

“Galen Weston inherited an iconic Canadian company and grew it into an enormously successful international enterprise that has brought jobs and prosperity to tens of thousands of people,” Dr. Craig said. “In addition, Galen and Hilary Weston are among this country’s greatest philanthropists, supporting an astonishing array of charities.”

Mr. Weston funded the Weston Family Learning Centre at the Art Gallery of Ontario; the Weston Family Innovation Centre at the Ontario Science Centre; he is a featured donor/partner on the Nature Conservancy of Canada for helping protect Canada’s unique natural heritage in some of the most endangered areas across the country; and Galen continues to be involved with various social organizations that include numerous food banks, the Salvation Army, YWCA and YMCA branches, Boys and Girls Clubs across Canada along within countless other organizations and causes. 

Additionally, in 2008, Mr. Weston established the W. Galen Weston Fund for British History at Huron University which funds and supports the teaching of British history in the curriculum offered by the university’s Department of History. 

We are tremendously proud of our long relationship with Galen Weston.