Honorary degree citation - Louis Vachon
By: Reena Atanasiadis, June 2019
Monsieur le chancelier, j’ai l’honneur de vous présenter Monsieur Louis Vachon, haut dirigeant du secteur bancaire et dévoué bénévole.
Mr. Vachon was born into a family of entrepreneurs. Those Vachon cakes so many of us have enjoyed? They were the creation of his great grandmother, Rose-Anna.
According to his sister, as a boy, Louis was a math whiz who enjoyed sitting quietly and reading encyclopedias. Despite his brains, his father never suspected he would become a leader. But like so many things, he met and exceeded the challenge.
Today, after 12 years at the helm of La Banque Nationale, he is the dean of Canadian bank CEOs, highly respected for his candour. As he says, “In life, people who make errors aren’t the dangerous ones; it’s those who don’t admit them.”
His pragmatism has permeated the Banque Nationale’s corporate culture: He recently made wearing a tie optional at work, a radical move in the banking world. He prefers that his employees let their own judgment and comfort guide them. As he has said, “I’m running a bank, not a nursery school.”
La Banque Nationale a récemment été classée parmi les dix meilleurs employeurs du Québec. Le personnel y apprécie en effet les occasions d’apprentissage, les conditions de travail souples et un milieu empreint de professionnalisme.
Monsieur le chancelier, au nom du sénat et du conseil d’administration de l’Université, j’ai le privilège et l’honneur de vous présenter Monsieur Louis Vachon, afin que vous lui décerniez un doctorat en droit honoris causa.