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Honorary degree citation - Jean Coutu

By: Christopher A. Ross, June 1991

Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you Jean Coutu, outstanding entrepreneur, innovative businessman, successful administrator and community leader. Mr. Coutu has won the respect and admiration of the entire business community for his achievements and dedication.

M. Coutu a obtenu son baccalauréat en biologie, chimie et physique à l'Université de Montréal, en 1949. En 1953, il obtient un baccalauréat en pharmacie de l'Université de Montréal ainsi qu'une licence en pharmacie de l'Ordre des pharmaciens du Québec.

He began his distinguished career as a medical representative and quickly recognised the opportunities available in the Pharmaceutical Industry to be an Owner and Operator. Between 1955 and 1960 he was co-owner of Pharmacie Jean Locas. By 1967 he was co-owner with Louis Michaud of 17 discount pharmacies. In 1969 he opened his first discount pharmacy under the Jean Coutu banner.

Mr. Coutu is currently Chairman of the Board, the Jean Coutu Group. This group has 186 Jean Coutu Pharmacies and 22 Douglas Maxi Drug outlets in the United States. In April of this year, the Jean Coutu Group opened its first pharmacy in Ontario.

In recognition of his noteworthy contributions to the world of business and his influence as a role model in the business community he was named "Man of the Month" by La revue Commerce in December 1980. In June 1984 he was named "Personality of the Week" by La Presse. In 1989 Les Affaires honoured the Jean Coutu Group with the title of "Enterprise of the Year".

Mr. Coutu is very active in the worldwide community as well. In 1990, in recognition of his contribution to humanitarian causes worldwide, he was awarded the Velan Prize.

M. Coutu est membre de l'Association canadienne de la pharmacie, fondateur et membre de l'Association québécoise des pharmaciens propriétaires, membre du Conseil des Gouverneurs de l'Université de Montréal et membre du Conseil du patronat du Québec. En outre, il est membre du Conseil d'administration de Québécor Inc., de l'UAP, de la Compagnie d'assurance Les Provinces Unies et de la Banque Canadienne Impériale de Commerce.

Mr. Chancellor, it is a privilege and a real honour for me to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and by the authority of the Board of Governors, Jean Coutu, that you may confer on him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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