By: Lorne Switzer, June 1998
Mr. Chancellor, I have the honour to present to you John N. Economides, C.M., a man who spent all of his professional life at Imperial Tobacco and Imasco Limited serving in various managerial and senior positions, and whose dedication to volunteerism, especially since his retirement, gives new meaning to the word philanthropy.
M. Economides a été exceptionnellement généreux envers son alma mater en investissant sans compter temps, sagesse et énergie. En 1941, il a obtenu un baccalauréat en commerce du collège qui s'appelait alors Sir George Williams, avec une concentration en comptabilité et en économie. Pendant 57 ans, il a maintenu un attachement qui ne s'est pas démenti au cours des ans à ce qui est devenu l'Université Sir George Williams puis ensuite Concordia.
He served in the Royal Canadian Navy for nearly four years, mostly on convoy duty in the North Atlantic. He had joined as an ordinary seaman and retired from the service in September 1945 with the rank of Lieutenant. Two years later, he married Sophia, here today with their sons, Nicholas and Peter, their daughter-in-law Dina, and grandchild Sophie.
It is impossible to talk about John Economides without including his family. His devoted wife, Sophia, shares with him many of the honours bestowed upon the Economides family for its good work within the community.
In 1965, he received certification from the Administrative Management Society, an international organization he promoted and from which he has received numerous honours. Five years later, he received a diploma in Management Development for Executive Accountants after completing a two year course sponsored by the Society of Industrial Accountants and McGill University. In 1973, he was certified by the Institute of Internal Auditors.
Mr. Economides was invested as a member of the Order of Canada in February 1997. His citation read in part, "He has worked tirelessly for the betterment of society. His example has stirred others to action and his fundraising efforts have raised millions of dollars for health care, education and many social services in Montreal."
Among the organizations and causes, Mr. Chancellor, which have benefited from Mr. Economides efforts are the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the Montreal Children's Hospital and Foundation, the Senior Citizens' Forum, the Hellenic Family Services of Quebec and the Hellenic Community of Montreal, the YMCA Foundation, the Portage Foundation and the Alzheimer Society of Montreal. This is by no means a complete list.
But perhaps none has benefited more than Concordia itself. He served with distinction on the Board of Governors since 1987 and in 1995 was designated Governor Emeritus. This year, he served as a Chairman of the 1997-98 Annual Giving Campaign’s Alumni Division. He has been president and is still a director of the Sir George William Alumni Association and was a director and vice-president of the Concordia University Alumni Association. He was chair of the University’s first annual Homecoming in 1990 and the same year, was the recipient of the Concordia alumni association’s highest honour, the Award of Merit in recognition of a lifetime contributions to the community and its alumni.
Mr. Chancellor, it is my privilege and my honour to present to you, on behalf of the Senate and the Board of Governors, John N. Economides, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
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