Temertys to grads: Persevere, give back

As philanthropists Jim and Louise Temerty see it, regardless of what life brings, the most important thing is to give back.

Jim Temerty, founder of Northland Power Inc., and Louise Arcand Temerty, were awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD) at the Wednesday morning session of Western’s 312thConvocation. The couple was recognized for their long history of philanthropy in Canada and their significant support of research and innovation.

They spoke to graduates from the School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, King’s University College, the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Faculty of Law, the Don Wright Faculty of Music, the Faculty of Science and the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, urging them to keep in mind four things – the value of compromise, the role of intuition, the importance of perseverance and the nature of opportunity.

“There are many interpretations of compromise, but what matters most is listening to one another and striving for a “win-win,” said Louise Temerty.

“Seek everyone’s counsel, but follow your own intuition,” added Jim Temerty. “Inform your intuition by seeking counsel. Sometimes you will get advice; be careful taking it. The giver may not see the entire picture. Inform your intuition before you act on it so you can be confident in the course of your actions.”

As for perseverance, as Winston Churchill once said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going,” he added.

Opportunity is not random, you have to work for it and you have to prepare for it, added Louise Temerty.

“How do you prepare for opportunity? You are already doing it, by studying, developing skills, by networking and being alert,” she said, adding the most important opportunity is to give back.

“Giving back has been important in guiding us. You can give back by giving money. The best way to give is to give your time; it means giving of yourself. You make a living by getting and you make a life by giving.”

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