Stories

Honorary Degree recipient represents achievement through community support

Mount Royal University (MRU) is fortunate for the several outstanding individuals who graciously volunteer their time, talent and skills towards the school’s continued growth and evolution. Exemplifying the leadership qualities that MRU’s programs are designed to help develop, the school’s legion of volunteers regularly uses their experience and knowledge towards the betterment of society, always demonstrating a strong commitment to integrity, innovation and vision.

Ken King Bachelor of Health and Physical Education
Calgary Flames CEO Ken King is a strong believer in community service and involvement.

Each year Mount Royal’s Board of Governors selects members of the university community who have been recognized for their major contributions at national and international levels to receive Honorary Degrees at Convocation. MRU’s brand concept of Face to Face, which is defined as a, “concise phrase that captures the personal, approachable, responsive, authentic way in which we educate and interact with those we serve – and those we work with – on a daily basis,” is personified by 2014 recipient Ken King. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Calgary Flames King is an original and accessible leader that epitomizes how good citizenship and great success can complement each other.

Honorary Degree Recipient Ken King, Bachelor of Health and Physical Education

Ken King is a name familiar to Calgarians for a number of reasons. Most know him as the President and CEO of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Calgary Flames, a position he has redefined several times since taking the spot in 2001. His work and dedication to professional athletics has made Calgary a major player in the North American sports and entertainment market, and King is known for inventive public relations strategies that not only clarify the need for such organizations in a world-class city, but that also improve the lives of others. As President and CEO of Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation, he has leadership roles in the Flames, Calgary Hitmen, Calgary Roughnecks, Calgary Stampeders and represents the organization as Alternate Governor of the NHL and Governor of the WHL, NLL and CFL.

King’s community involvement includes President of the Flames Foundation, leadership roles in several other past and current charity fundraising initiatives with an emphasis on providing assistance to those in our community most in need.

“My work in the community is facilitated through the generosity of Flames owners who provide ample latitude for all employees to peruse their philanthropic passions. My personal joy comes from the happy obligation we all have to give back to our community and the wonderful sense of purpose and education we get in return.”

With a singular approach to business and partnerships, King first became known in Calgary in a big way during the 1990s as President and Publisher of both the Calgary Sun and Calgary Herald. His career in the newspaper business spans 30 years, and includes several senior executive positions in Canada’s leading publications. After beginning in Prince George, B.C., King arrived in Alberta in 1977 with a move to the Edmonton Journal, and he has also acted as General Manager of United Press Canada and Western Vice President of the Toronto Sun Publishing Corporation. He has been recognized for forging new relationships, strengthening old ones and fostering supportive working communities committed to quality results and mutual success at each of his positions.

"Nothing in life is easy and it takes consensus and teamwork to accomplish important goals. If you can work with others you will have almost all the tools required for success,” King says.

Also a recipient of the Alberta Centennial Medal and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for Community Service, King’s current community involvement extends far beyond the confines of the Calgary Saddledome. He is Chairman of the TELUS Community Board, Past Co-chair of REACH, a member of the RESOLVE Campaign (Calgarians Committed to Change), the Calgary Sport Tourism Authority Board, the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede, the Borden Ladner Gervais CIAU Athlete of the Year Awards Committee and a member of the Rotary Club of Calgary. Previous involvement includes the Calgary Prostate Cancer Centre, Calgary Philharmonic Society, No Ka Oi Ranch Foundation and Past-Chairman of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.

Because of his unfailing optimism, generosity towards others and loyalty to Calgary and Alberta, Mount Royal University has chosen King to receive an Honorary Degree during their 2014 Convocation Ceremonies. Graduates of MRU are encouraged to become contributing members of society and to follow the examples set by both of this year’s honorary degree recipients.

Michelle Bodnar — June 5, 2014