James D. Irving

Cape Breton University is honoured to celebrate the successful career and notable contributions to the community of James D. Irving. He is a business leader, philanthropist and great friend to Cape Breton University, one who continues to share his passion, insight and leadership with those around him.

Jim Irving was born and raised in Saint John, New Brunswick. He is the President of J.D. Irving Limited. He, along with his father, James K., and his brother, Robert, operate a diverse, family-owned enterprise, with over 125 years of involvement in the business community.

The company, which employs a dedicated team of 15,000 associates, operates in Eastern Canada and the United States. There are business units in forestry and forest products; transportation; shipbuilding; retail; construction services; and consumer products.

Mr. Irving has served on the Federal Economic Advisory Council and sits on the boards of the Lahey Clinic Medical Centre in Massachusetts, as well as the Ivey Advisory Board of the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.

Community is something that is very important to Mr. Irving, as evidenced by his involvement in capital campaign leadership for the regional Nature Conservancy of Canada as well as the Université de Moncton. He is also actively involved in leading his company’s efforts in wild Atlantic salmon conservation and research, and building international award-winning partnerships with elementary and middle schools and post-secondary institutions.

Cape Breton University has the pleasure of being able to call Mr. Irving a friend and supporter. For the past three years, he has demonstrated his commitment to CBU with his support of the Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment (CSEE). Selflessly, he has given his time, expertise and resources to the project. Irving Shipbuilding Limited, under his guidance, also established awards for CBU students who will benefit from the opportunities at the CSEE. Most recently, Mr. Irving joined the CSEE’s inaugural advisory board, thus reinforcing and continuing his relationship with the University.

Mr. Irving resides in Saint John, New Brunswick, with his wife, Lynn. They have four children.

Today, Cape Breton University confers the degree Doctor of Letters, honoris causa, on a man who is a talented Canadian business leader and who shares his talents, time and expertise through his business and community pursuits, James D. Irving.