Lord Beaverbrook Luncheon

“Like that other renowned New Brunswick philanthropist before him, Lord Beaverbrook, Currie is leaving a sizable legacy of donations, endowments, chairs and other acts of generosity.

Chris Morris, The Telegraph Journal, July 2010

A sell-out crowd attended the A Celebration of Generosity:  Lord Beaverbrook Luncheon at the Crowne Plaza Lord Beaverbrook Hotel on Nov. 5 to hear UNB Chancellor and Canadian Business icon Richard J. Currie speak about the power of philanthropy and much more. 

Read the full text of his remarks.   View photos.

Richard Currie, O.C., C.B.H.F., M.B.A., LL.D., P.Eng., was born in Saint John, N.B.  In 1955, he began his studies in chemical engineering as a Beaverbrook Scholar at the University of New Brunswick. 

After graduating, he became refining superintendent at the Atlantic Sugar Refineries in Saint John.  He left to complete his MBA at Harvard, and in 1972 joined Loblaw Companies.  He became president of the company in 1976, and over the next 25 years grew the company over 350 times to a market value of $15 billion.  Dr. Currie was then named president of George Weston Limited, Loblaws’ parent company, and during his six-year tenure increased the company’s share price more than seven-fold.

Dr. Currie has acted as a corporate director for many of Canada’s most prominent organizations, and, in 2002, Bell Canada Enterprises named him chair of its board of directors.  He is an Officer of the Order of Canada,  and in 2003 he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.   

Dr. Currie’s contributions to the economic and social well being of Canadians go far beyond his professional career.  Most especially, Dr. Currie has long been an outstanding supporter and advocate of the University of New Brunswick. 

In May 2003 he was installed as UNB’s fifth modern-day Chancellor. That same year, he enhanced the Blake-Kirkpatrick renewable undergraduate scholarships (now called the Currie Scholarships) he established in 1998, making them among Canada’s most valuable.  And in July 2008, Dr. Currie’s patronage enabled the single largest capital building project in the university’s history: the Richard J. Currie Center.  This latest gift transforms not only the physical landscape of the campus, but inspiring renewed energy and vision.

Dr. Currie currently resides in Toronto, Ont., and Rothesay, N.B., with his wife Beth.