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Honorary degree citation - Emanuele (Lino) Saputo

By: Dean Steve Harvey, June 2015

Mr. Chancellor, it is my honour to present to you Mr. Emanuele Saputo, founder and chair of the Montreal-based dairy company Saputo Incorporated, and renowned philanthropist.

Mr. Saputo’s life story is a testament to what can be achieved through hard work, vision and entrepreneurship. The Saputo family immigrated to Canada from Italy in 1952, and two years later, they founded the dairy company which bears their name.

Après d’humbles débuts, M. Saputo a bâti une société d’envergure internationale, qui compte aujourd’hui des milliers d’employés répartis dans plusieurs usines aux quatre coins du monde. En 1997, l’entreprise a effectué son premier appel public à l’épargne au Canada.

Since it was established, there has always been a Saputo at the helm of the company. Succeeding his father, Mr. Saputo served as president from 1969 to 2004. Since then, his son, Concordia graduate Lino Saputo, Jr., has been leading the company.  Emanuele Saputo continues to act as the Company’s Chairperson.

While the Saputo name has become synonymous with fine dairy products, the family has also long been associated with physical activity and sport. Saputo Incorporated has partnered with many organizations to provide bursaries to athletes at all levels across Canada. In 1993, the Saputos bought the Montreal Impact. Joey Saputo, eldest son of Mr. Saputo – and another Concordia graduate – is the president of the team.

Aside from being one of the most successful business people in Canada, Mr. Saputo is known as a visionary philanthropist and benefactor of many causes. Over the years, he has devoted a great deal of time and energy to the charity he founded with his wife in 1979.

La Fondation Mirella et Lino Saputo prodigue son soutien aux enfants malades, aux personnes âgées et à d’autres membres vulnérables de la société.

M. Saputo et sa fondation ont accordé des dons majeurs à de nombreux hôpitaux et établissements d’enseignement canadiens.

Mr. Saputo and his wife also established the Mirella and Lino Saputo Theatre in the Leonardo da Vinci Community Centre in St. Leonard to support the arts.

Mr. Saputo has received multiple honours in recognition of his business acumen and philanthropy. He was made an Officer of the National Order of Quebec in 2011, and appointed Member of the Order of Canada in 2012. The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal inducted Mr. Saputo into the Academy of Great Montrealers in 2012. Last year, he was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of the Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my privilege and honour to present to you Mr. Emanuele Saputo, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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