The Rt. Hon. David Johnston wins the 2018 International Horatio Alger Award

Canada’s 28th Governor General to be honoured at Washington, D.C. ceremony –

MONTREAL, QUEBEC, October 18, 2017 – The Right Honourable David Johnston, Canada’s 28th Governor General, has been chosen to receive the International Horatio Alger Award in 2018.

The announcement was made last night at the inaugural Horatio Alger Association of Canada Excellence Gala, held in Toronto. The event raised $2.6 million for the Association’s pan-Canadian scholarship program.

The International Horatio Alger Award is presented each year by the Washington, D.C.-based Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans Inc. to an individual who has persevered through challenges to become a successful entrepreneur and community leader. Recipients of the Award become lifelong members of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada and its American affiliate and serve as role models for its young scholarship recipients. Mr. Johnston will be formally inducted into the Association in Washington, D.C., during the 71st Annual Horatio Alger Awards, which take place April 5–April 7, 2018.

“David Johnston is one of the most admirable and industrious Canadians around today,” said Prem Watsa, President of the Horatio Alger Association of Canada. “He has dedicated his life to service and the promotion of higher education. It is a real honour for the Members of our Association to have him among our ranks and we look forward to his contribution to our organization.”

Mr. Johnston was born in Cooper Cliff near Sudbury, Ontario. He grew up in a loving family that worked hard to make ends meet. His father struggled with his business and often faced unemployment; his mother worked as a nurse until the loss of her sight forced her to stop. From the age of 9, Johnston worked along with his two siblings to support the family. An adept athlete, Johnston turned down a professional hockey career in order to focus on his education. With hard work and perseverance, Johnston was admitted to Harvard and received an academic scholarship. He graduated from the prestigious school magna cum laude and was named to Harvard’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He also studied at the University of Cambridge and Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

Johnston’s life remains one of service. Before being appointed Governor General in 2010, he spent his career in various university posts, including as a professor of law at Queen’s and the University of Toronto, as dean of University of Western Ontario Law School, as president and vice-chancellor of McGill University, and as president of the University of Waterloo.

“I’m thrilled to be joining a charitable organization as prestigious as the Horatio Alger Association of Canada,” said Mr. Johnston. “What I look forward to most is the interactions with Scholars. It gives me great joy to support a scholarship program that gives a helping hand to hard working students who deserve a chance at a higher education.”

 About the Horatio Alger Association of Canada

 The Horatio Alger Association of Canada, the Canadian affiliate of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., is a charitable organization dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honours the achievements of outstanding individuals who have succeeded in spite of adversity by bestowing to them the Horatio Alger Award and granting them lifetime membership into the Association. Through the generosity of Horatio Alger Members, the Horatio Alger Association of Canada awards scholarships annually to deserving young people in every province and territory. Members of the Association include Alain Bouchard, Dominic D’Alessandro, Murray Edwards, Serge Godin, Wayne Gretzky, Rebecca MacDonald, the late G. Wallace F. McCain, the Right Honourable Brian Mulroney, Jim Pattison, Gerald W. Schwartz, Isadore Sharp, Prem Watsa and Rick Waugh. For more information, visit The Association can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.



Tom Kott, HATLEY Strategy Advisors, 514.316.7082, [email protected]

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