May 2, 2003
James D. Irving, president of J.D. Irving, Limited will be the featured speaker at the 121st commencement exercises at the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Saturday, May 10, at 1:00 p.m. Irving will also be presented with an honorary degree during the ceremony held in the University SportsCenter.
Irving will address the 202 students that comprise UMFK's graduating class, their family members and friends, university faculty and staff, and invited guests attending the 2003 commencement exercises.
In addition to speaking, Irving will also receive an honorary degree from UMFK. University President Richard W. Cost will confer the honorary doctorate of humane letters upon him during the ceremony.
"Mr. Irving is an extraordinarily successful business leader who has insisted upon exceptional efforts to replace timber as rapidly as it is utilized in order to maintain a sustainable forest operation. He has received numerous awards from environmental organizations for his vision and his accomplishments," said Cost.
Irving runs family-owned J. D. Irving, Limited, which has a more than 100 year history in the forest products business.
The operations are a part of the diverse enterprises of the J.D. Irving, Limited group of companies. The company produces a full and wide range of forest products including lumber, Kraft pulp, newsprint, tissue and corrugated medium.
Irving also manages environmentally certified woods in Maine, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec.
The company has been internationally recognized by the World Wildlife Fund for its efforts in sustainable forestry, certification and its research partnership with the WWF.
The prestigious British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow eco-tourism awards program has also honored the company for its work in protecting one of North America's last remaining sand dunes and the endangered piping plover. Conservation and research efforts to save the wild Atlantic salmon have won national and international recognition from the Government of Canada and the Atlantic Salmon Federation.
Irving is a leader in Canada and in Maine regarding reforestation efforts, planting over six hundred million seedlings since 1957. This year over 4.5 million seedlings will be planted in Maine.
In 2001, Irving Woodlands was named the Corporate Landowner of the Year by the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
James D. Irving is actively involved in leading the company's efforts in salmon conservation and research as well as education partnerships with middle, secondary and post secondary schools.
The company has won two consecutive national education awards in Canada for its leadership in developing business-education initiatives for young people.
James D. Irving lives in New Brunswick with his wife Lynn and their four children.