Class of 2008
Over the course of almost six decades, J.R. (Bud) McCaig’s vision, foresight and courage transformed a small Saskatchewan trucking company founded in the shadow of the Great Depression into one of Canada’s most notable transportation services companies. In the process, Bud gained a reputation across the country as a true Canadian innovator, an enterprising businessman and a generous philanthropist.
Bud started in his father’s trucking business at the age of 16 and for the next 16 years he worked his way up the ranks in the small but growing trucking company. When his dad retired in 1962 Bud and his two brothers formed a new holding company called Trimac and with Bud at the helm they built one of the most successful, progressive and innovative transportation companies in North America.
In addition to Bud’s business vision he also saw Calgary leading the world in the delivery of health care services and medical research. One of his passions was research in the area of the treatment and prevention of arthritis and this led to the establishment of the McCaig Centre for Joint Injury and Arthritis Research in 1993. In March of 2004 he helped advance that dream further when he contributed $10 million to the new Bone and Joint Institute at Foothills Hospital.
IN the early 1990s, Bud served as the Chairman of the Board of the Foothills Hospital Foundation and Vice Chair of the Foothills Hospital Board of Management. He was a driving force behind the Partners in Health $50 million capital campaign for health care research, equipment and services.
In 1994 Bud took on the job of restructuring the Calgary health care system as the Chairman of the Calgary Regional Health Authority. He also helped create the Calgary Health Trust, the fundraising arm of the new regional health care system, and served as its first chairman.
Over the years, Bud was recognized for many accomplishments. In 2004 he was one of three inaugural inductees in the Calgary Business Hall of Fame. In 2002 he received the Queen’s Jubilee Award and in 1999 he became a member of the Order of Canada. In 1998 he received his honorary doctor of laws degree from the University of Calgary and the Distinguished Business Leader Award from the Haskayne School of Business and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. In 1995 he received Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship. Bud also received the Canadian Master Entrepreneur Award of the Year in Alberta and Canada in 1994 as well as Mount Royal College’s Distinguished Citizen Award.
Bud had a unique ability to unite people around a vision and to see it through to completion. His own personal example won him the respect and admiration of all who worked with him and served with him. His legacy will live on to remind future generations of the impact that one life lived well can make.