2013 Fredericton Encaenia - Ceremony B

Stevenson, David

Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.)

Orator: Davies, Gwendolyn


ENCAENIA, MAY 29, 2013
to be Doctor of Letters

In the history of every community, there are remarkably dedicated and often unsung individuals who inform an institution's development at a pivotal moment and quietly help to energize its directions. David William Stevenson is one such individual. In addition to being a highly successful chartered accountant, a Fellow of the New Brunswick Institute of Chartered Accountants, and an unflagging volunteer in the community and the region, David Stevenson has for the past twelve years been a wise, insightful, and guiding presence on the Board of Governors of the University of New Brunswick.

Born in Fredericton, he attended schools in Fredericton, Sydney, and Amherst, graduating from Amherst High School in 1965. After completing a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of New Brunswick in 1968, he received his formal designation as a Chartered Accountant in 1970 and as a Trustee in Bankruptcy in 1973. Thus began a professional career in public practice over the next thirty-five years that has focused on that backbone of the Maritime economy ---small business owners ---including practice areas of accounting, auditing, taxation, financing, sales, and insurance claims. Beginning in the office of McDonald Currie & Co. (later Coopers & Lybrand) in Saint John in 1968, David Stevenson moved to Deloitte Haskins & Sells in Moncton in 1977 before forming a partnership in public accounting, Stevenson & Partners, in Riverview, New Brunswick, in 1983. Here he has not only continued to be a general advisor to small business owners but has also developed a specialty as an insolvency trustee for bankruptcy cases, including both personal and corporate clients.

Throughout his career, David Stevenson has also played a central role in contributing to the community at large. He has had a twenty-year involvement with St. John Ambulance Canada and has been either a board member or Director with the Greater Moncton YMCA, Junior Achievement of Greater Moncton, the Greater Moncton Community Foundation, and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada. His association with the Greater Moncton Airport Authority has included service as the Chairman of Finance of its Study Group, as the Secretary Treasurer of the GMAA, and as a member of its Board Executive Committee.

It is this kind of multi-faceted experience in both the financial and volunteer sectors that has informed David Stevenson's fiduciary and leadership roles on the University of New Brunswick Board of Governors for the past twelve years. Having served as Vice-Chair of the Board from 2003 to 2007, he became Chair of the Board of Governors from 2007 to 2010 (including a term as Chair of the Canadian University Boards Association). During that period, it became clear that universities across the Maritimes were facing the challenges of a changing student demographic, reduced government funding, and the demands of maintaining a vibrant research infrastructure. His leadership in steering the UNB Board through the exigencies of the times reflected both his financial and community acumen, particularly in Chairing the Board's Finance Committee, serving on the Board's investment and executive committees, Chairing a Search Committee for a new President, and endorsing the development of a strategic plan for the next stage of the university's future. It has been important for UNB that he continues to share his expertise with the Board of Governors as a Governor Emeritus.

Given David Stevenson's contributions to public life, it is not surprising that he has received the Moncton YMCA Volunteer of the Year Award, the UNB Faculty of Business Administration Certificate of Achievement, and Canada's Commemorative Medal for the 125th Anniversary of Confederation (awarded for service to the country). Now, it is with genuine gratitude and pleasure that the University of New Brunswick adds to those honours by admitting David William Stevenson to the degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa.

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