About the Arthur Irving Family

Arthur Irving’s commitment to Acadia is as strong and as deep as the Bay of Fundy tides. His father, K.C. Irving, attended the Wolfville campus as part of the Class of ’21. Sons Arthur (’52), John (’54), and James Irving (’50) were all students at Acadia before returning to Saint John to work in the family business with their father. Arthur’s wife, Sandra (’74), is a loyal alumna and an integral part of the family’s exceptional legacy of support for the school. Arthur was Acadia’s Chancellor from 1996 to 2010; received a Doctor of Civil Laws from Acadia in 2003; and was granted the title of Chancellor Emeritus in 2010.

Arthur and Sandra know the importance of giving back, not just in theory, but in practice. When Arthur was asked to be the Chancellor of Acadia, he agreed to take on the role if there was something he could do for the students. The very first thought behind the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre was “students” and creating a very special place for them to meet. As a captain of industry and a champion of the environment, Arthur is the epitome of an outstanding corporate citizen. Sandra is a powerful and articulate advocate for the value of education in our society. Together, they have helped to make Acadia a focal point for innovation and research in environmental science. 

The Arthur Irving Academy was created in 2014 in support of environmental sciences at Acadia; facilitating education, research and scholarship. The Academy does this in three ways: by offering research grants to Acadia faculty to support research conducted in the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, by offering scholarships to undergraduate and graduate students at Acadia and by providing funding for a full-time Director of Research of the Arthur Irving Academy at the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens. Trustees of the Arthur Irving Academy include Arthur and Sandra Irving, their daughter Sarah Irving and Acadia’s President, Dr. Peter Ricketts.  

Arthur’s legacy at Acadia includes a gift from the Irving family—the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens—as well as a gift from Irving Oil of the Beaubassin Research Centre in Aulac, N.B. It now extends to the newly-created Arthur Irving Research Grants to faculty at Acadia and the prestigious Arthur Irving Academy Scholarships in Environmental Science.