The university will celebrate distinguished alumnus and visionary businessman Jefferson (Jeff) Mooney for his career contributions, achievements and accolades when he is awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws at convocation in Merlis Belsher Place on Nov. 13.
A graduate of USask’s College of Arts and Science and the Advanced Management Program of the Harvard Graduate School of Business, Mr. Mooney went on to lead one of the country’s most successful restaurant chains. Mr. Mooney joined A&W Food Services of Canada Inc., 46 years ago and went on to serve 14 years as president and chief executive officer, while also displaying a lifelong passion for charity and community contributions.
“We are honoured to recognize Mr. Mooney as a pillar of the business community in Canada, as well as for his passion for serving his community and for being a leader of philanthropy,” said USask President Peter Stoicheff. “His remarkable record of success in business has been matched by his dedication to giving back to the community as a volunteer and as a generous supporter of many social causes.”
Mr. Mooney is honoured to join the distinguished list of recipients who have previously been celebrated by his alma mater.
“This is a tremendous honour for me and I am proud to be an alumnus of the University of Saskatchewan,” said Mr. Mooney, who studied philosophy and history at USask and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 1966. “I have fond memories of my time at the university, which shaped the person I am today and helped instil that Prairie work ethic and the importance of community and helping others. So, this will be a very humbling experience and I am very much looking forward to taking part in convocation once again.”
Mr. Mooney’s business acumen helped build A&W into one of Canada’s leading chains, featuring more than 980 restaurants from coast-to-coast and named one of the country’s 50 best-managed companies for 14 years in a row. His work outside the office has included supporting the Rick Hansen Foundation, Covenant House Vancouver, Boys and Girls Club, and the YWCA Futures Bursary Program. Mr. Mooney and his wife Suzanne Bolton sponsor scholarships at universities across North America, with Mr. Mooney also serving six years on the Board of Directors of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Born in Regina, Mr. Mooney has earned a lengthy list of awards for his corporate and community contributions, most recently being named a member of the Order of Canada in 2019, receiving one of the country’s highest civilian honours. He was also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, was one of the first 100 individuals to be honoured with a USask College of Arts and Science Alumni of Influence award in 2009, and was inducted to the Business Laureates of B.C. Hall of Fame in 2015.
Mr. Mooney will be honoured during the 2 pm ceremony on Nov. 13. Convocation details and the livestream broadcast will be available online at: https://students.usask.ca/academics/graduation.php#Afteryougraduate
Honorary degrees are the highest honour USask can bestow, and acknowledge the worthy and unique contributions recipients have made to their community and to the world. To view past recipients, visit: https://library.usask.ca/archives/campus-history/honorary-degrees.php
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University of Saskatchewan