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Honorary Degree: Stephen J.R. Smith

  • Stephen J.R. Smith holds up his honorary degree from Queen's University during Tuesday's Spring Convocation ceremony at the ARC, with Rector Cam Yung, Principal Daniel Woolf, and Chancellor Jim Leech.
    Stephen J.R. Smith holds up his honorary degree from Queen's University during Tuesday's Spring Convocation ceremony at the ARC, with Rector Cam Yung, Principal Daniel Woolf, and Chancellor Jim Leech.
  • Stephen J.R. Smith shares a laugh with, from left, Rector Cam Yung, Principal Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech and David Saunders, Dean of the Smith School of Business, as he prepares to be hooded at Tuesday's Spring Convocation ceremony.
    Stephen J.R. Smith shares a laugh with, from right, Rector Cam Yung, Principal Daniel Woolf, Chancellor Jim Leech and David Saunders, Dean of the Smith School of Business, as he prepares to be hooded at Tuesday's Spring Convocation ceremony.
  • Entrepreneur and philanthropist Stephen J.R. Smith delivers a speech after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's during Tuesday's Spring Convocation ceremony at the Athletics and Recreation Centre.
    Entrepreneur and philanthropist Stephen J.R. Smith delivers a speech after receiving an honorary degree from Queen's during Tuesday's Spring Convocation ceremony at the Athletics and Recreation Centre.
  • Family and friends fill the main gym of the Athletics and Recreation Centre for Tuesday afternoon's Spring Convocation ceremony for graduates of the commerce program at the Smith School of Business as well as master's and PhD recipients.
    Family and friends fill the main gym of the Athletics and Recreation Centre for Tuesday afternoon's Spring Convocation ceremony for graduates of the commerce program at the Smith School of Business as well as master's and PhD recipients.

One of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs in the financial services industry, Stephen J.R. Smith (Sc’72) received an honorary degree from Queen’s on Tuesday, May 30 as part of Spring Convocation.

Renowned for innovation in information technology and financial structuring in the Canadian mortgage industry, Mr. Smith is also an avid supporter of post-secondary education. In 2015, he made a $50-million investment in business education at Queen’s, the largest-ever gift to any business school in Canada. In recognition of this investment the Queen’s School of Business was renamed the Stephen J.R. Smith School of Business.

Mr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in electrical engineering from Queen’s in 1972 and is the co-founder, chairman and chief executive officer of First National Financial Corporation, Canada’s largest non-bank lender of residential and commercial mortgages. He is also chairman and co-owner of Canada Guaranty Mortgage Insurance, the country’s third-largest mortgage insurance provider.

A live feed of each Spring Convocation ceremony will begin approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled start of each event. For a full schedule of the ceremonies, visit the website of the Office of the University Registrar.