Donald C.R. Sobey

Donald C.R. Sobey




Class of 2007

Donald Creighton Rae Sobey was born in Pictou County, Nova Scotia in 1934. He attended Queen’s University, receiving his Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1957.

Mr. Sobey joined his father, Frank H. Sobey, and brothers Bill and David, in the family business in 1958. He was elected to the Board of Empire Company in 1963, appointed President in 1969 and was made Chairman in 1985.  Upon his retirement in 2004, he was appointed Chairman Emeritus by the company’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Sobey served on the Boards of many corporations including Sobeys Inc., Alliance Atlantis, the Toronto-Dominion Bank, the Maritime Telegraph & Telephone Company, and as a Member of the Canadian Group of the Trilateral Commission, and the World Wildlife Fund.

A tireless promoter of higher education and Canadian arts and culture, Mr. Sobey served as Chairman of the Sobey Art Foundation, and as Chair of the National Gallery of Canada. In 1999, Mr. Sobey established the D&R Sobey Atlantic Leadership Scholarships at Queen’s University and in 2003 received the Keith Kelly Award for Cultural Leadership from the Canadian Conference of the Arts. He also served as Chair of the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre Foundation and chair of Dalhousie University’s capital campaign in the 1980s.

Mr. Sobey received a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from Dalhousie University in 1989 and an Honourary Diploma from the Nova Scotia Community College in 2001.

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