Donald Triggs, co-founder of Jackson-Triggs, the most powerful wine brand in Canada, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD) at the Tuesday morning session of Western’s 311th Convocation.
Triggs spoke to graduates from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies and the Faculty of Social Science, encouraging them to be mindful of opportunities that come under the guise of difficulties.
“Even though life may deal you surprises, and every now and then, the odd, nasty curve ball, what looks like a nasty curve ball might be the best pitch you’ve ever seen. You have to get in the batter’s box; you have to play it out,” Triggs said.
"Protect your integrity. No one else will do that for you… Your reputation is like the linen, it's so easy to stain, impossible to clean." – Dr. Triggs
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Recalling his childhood life on a mixed grain and cattle farm in Manitoba, he imparted the importance of integrity, a strong work ethic and a commitment to one’s community as essential to success in life.
When he stepped into a dying wine industry in Canada, Triggs knew “it was not about what was, but about what it could be,” he said.
“Pick people you can learn from; find ways to work with them or for them. You learn more by listening than talking, and you learn even more by asking questions. Think big and small at the same time – have a bigger vision of what you are trying to accomplish in the long term, even if it fights what you have to do in the day-to-day. Set you standards at the highest level. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Protect your integrity. Don’t hog the success.”