University of Calgary

Public service honoured

UToday HomeDecember 3, 2012

Jim Dinning received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal Friday afternoon.Jim Dinning received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal Friday afternoon.A lifetime of public service was honoured Friday, as University of Calgary Chancellor Jim Dinning received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

Premier Alison Redford and Lieutenant Governor Donald Ethell presented the medal as part of a private ceremony for several prominent Albertans who have made longstanding contributions to this province.

For Dinning, being nominated for the medal affirms his family’s dedication to serving others.

"Service to Queen, country and community has been in my family's blood for five-plus generations,” Dinning said.

The commemorative medal is being awarded to 60,000 deserving Canadians this year in celebration of the 60th anniversary of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.

Dinning’s personal contributions to Albertans have been made both in government and business. Shortly after graduating from Queen’s University, Dinning joined Alberta’s public service. He rose to become the government’s youngest deputy minister in Federal and Intergovernmental Affairs in 1984.

Voters in the riding of Calgary Shaw first elected him to represent them in the Alberta Legislative Assembly in 1986. Dinning spent 11 years in office, serving in numerous cabinet portfolios including as minister of education and provincial treasurer, before retiring from elected life in 1997.

After politics, Dinning went on to make his mark in the business world. He began as senior executive with TransAlta, a position he held until 2004. Today, Dinning is the chair of Western Financial Group, Liquor Stores NA Ltd and Export Development Canada. He also serves as director of a number of public and private companies and not-for-profit organizations.

Dinning became chancellor of the University of Calgary in 2010, a role he finds particularly poignant as he receives the Jubilee medal.

“I had the honour to serve as Her Majesty's Minister in the Alberta Government for 11 years. The greatest honour came when I was introduced to the Queen in 1991, and in turn, introduced her to my family,” Dinning said.

“Now, to receive this honour while serving as chancellor of the University of Calgary makes it just so much more special. My thanks to those who nominated me.”