Alumni Award Winner: A Life of Leadership | Work of Arts
Alumni Award Winner: A Life of Leadership | Work of Arts

Alumni Award Winner: A Life of Leadership

by | September 8, 2015
Photography by John Ulan
Early involvement in campus life laid the foundation for a future built on hard work and contributions to community

As we look forward to Alumni Weekend (Sept 24-27, 2015), the Faculty of Arts is proud to share the stories of our inspiring alumni. The Faculty of Arts hits a key milestone this year with 50,000 alumni contributing in all areas of life worldwide. Watch for more in the coming days. 

We encourage all Arts grads to proudly identify as #1of50K on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram all year long! 

 

Francis M. Saville (’62 BA, ’65 LLB), Distinguished Alumni Award winner, believes the keys to success in life are energy, hard work and a desire to succeed — not only in the material sense but also by contributing to the world in which you live.

“As Canadians, we occupy a unique position in the world. As individuals we all need to do our part, be it at the community, local, provincial, federal or international level.”

His dedication to community service was evident even before he started a long career in law. During his time at the University of Alberta, he served as president of the Students’ Union, the United Nations Club and the Phi Kappa Pi fraternity. As student union president, he was one of the determined group that championed the construction of the Students’ Union Building on North Campus — a project called unique in an October 1967 Time magazine article because it was initiated, planned, built and operated by students.

Francis Saville, 2015  Distinguished Alumni Award! recipient at the Student Union Building (SUB) on May 28, 2015.

One of Saville’s early mentors and role models was Cliff Prowse, a lawyer and later a justice of the Alberta Court of Appeal, with whom Saville worked as a junior in the Calgary law firm of Fenerty Robertson Fraser & Hatch. He was inspired by Prowse’s dedication and perseverance and says he never met another lawyer who worked so hard. “After the Second World War, where he was shot down, lost his leg and ended up a PoW, Cliff returned to the U of A to get his law degree — an impossible act to follow,” says Saville.

“As Canadians, we occupy a unique position in the world. As individuals we all need to do our part, be it at the community, local, provincial, federal or international level.”

Saville spent his early career as a litigator. He eventually turned to energy and environmental law, thriving on the challenge of helping develop new projects in oilsands, pipelines and other industrial development. In the 1990s, he branched out into the business world, serving as a director of Nexen Inc. from 1995 to 2013, and as a director for Mullen Group from 1993 to 2005.

He was also a founding member, director and chair of the Canadian Institute of Resources Law at the University of Calgary.

His volunteer work has included serving as Canada Olympic Park volunteer chairman for the 1988 XV Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, as trustee and chair with the Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific (now Pearson College UWC), and in roles with the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) board. He still serves as an adviser with the Global Leadership Foundation, an international non-profit group that allows former leaders to confidentially share experiences with today’s national leaders.

Since retiring from law five years ago and from corporate director roles in 2013, Saville and his wife, Linda (whom he met in the Rutherford Library in 1961), have been enjoying their children and grandchildren, as well as their motorhome.

“We love the outdoors but at this stage of our lives we prefer ‘roughing it smoothly,’” he jokes.

Looking back over his university years, Saville says, “It was a life-forming experience that became the foundation for the future.”

 

Article taken from New Trail.


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