Business and community leader Peter Legge received Douglas College’s highest distinction, honourary fellowship, on Wednesday while mining investor, film executive and philanthropist Frank Giustra was honoured as a most distinguished alumni.
Legge, CEO of Canada Wide Media, Western Canada’s biggest independent publishing company, has donated to the college and lent his name, expertise and influence to the school’s institute for sales excellence.
“To receive the highest recognition from a respected college that has two campuses—one in the town I was raised in (New Westminster), and the second, in the community I live in (Coquitlam)—is an absolutely huge honour,” said Legge in a press release.
Legge has raised millions of dollars for various causes, mostly through Variety—The Children’s Charity.
“Mr. Legge is a natural fit for Honourary Fellow,” said Douglas board chair Paul Wates.
“He is a highly successful businessman who believes in helping others and giving back to his community. He is someone we can all look up to.”
Giustra, who grew up in Aldergrove, went to Douglas in the late 1970s, at first playing trumpet in the school’s music program before switching to business and finance.
He worked in Europe for Yorkton Securities before becoming its president in 1990 and chairman and CEO in 1995.
He was chair of Endeavour Financial from 2001 to 2007 and is now CEO of Fiore Financial Corporation. He is also founder of Lions Gate Entertainment.
“It’s probably the last thing I would have expected, but I’m honoured,” said Giustra in another college press release. “I certainly couldn’t have imagined this back when I graduated.”
His philanthropy includes being founder and chair of the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership with former U.S. President Bill Clinton to create social and economic programs to combat poverty in developing countries.
Giustra also is a director of Streetohome Foundation, which strives to eliminate homelessness in Vancouver with affordable housing.
“Few people in the world could be said to better reflect our college motto, ‘Do what you love. Be good at it,’ more than Frank Giustra,” said Douglas president Scott McAlpine. “Mr. Giustra has embraced this philosophy his whole life and he has truly embodied the spirit of Douglas.”
Giustra wasn’t able to attend Wednesday’s graduation ceremony, but he did provide a video address to the students which is available at www.douglascollege.ca.