Jim Donaldson, BSc 52, who contributed to the revival of Loyola Campus as a standout alumnus of Loyola College, one of Concordia’s founding institutions, died on November 12. He was 88.
“Jim was a champion of our university who truly represented the service-oriented spirit of Loyola College,” says Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, vice-president of Advancement. “As a volunteer with the Loyola Alumni Association [LAA], where he served as president and a long-time member of the board of directors, Jim helped strengthen scholarships for students as well as efforts to refurbish the Loyola Refectory.”
The result of those efforts was the inauguration of Loyola Jesuit Hall and Conference Centre in 2012, which helped launch a transformative new era for Loyola Campus and Concordia.
“Jim was a wonderful guy, who always had a great sense of humour and a twinkle in his eye,” recalls Donal Ryan, BComm 67, Donaldson’s successor as LAA president who later oversaw the LAA’s merger with the Concordia University Alumni Association in 2014. “He was a lot of fun to be around.”
Dominique McCaughey, BA 96, MA 02, former associate vice-president of Advancement and Alumni Relations at Concordia, got to know Donaldson through his work on the Refectory Campaign Committee and remembers him as a forward-thinker who was passionate about his alma mater.
“Jim was limitless in his energy, dogged in his determination and seemed to know every Loyola graduate,” says McCaughey. “He had a knack for bringing people together and his love for Loyola Campus was without bounds — he felt that it held much potential for Concordia’s future.”
Donaldson was honoured with the Benoît Pelland Distinguished Service Award in 2009 for his dedicated service on behalf of Concordia.