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Dr. Donald R. Sobey (1934 ‑ 2021)

Posted by Madeline Lean on March 25, 2021 in News
Donald R. Sobey (1934-2021)
Donald R. Sobey (1934-2021)

On behalf of the Schulich School of Law we offer condolences to the family of Dr. Donald R. Sobey (LL.D. Dalhousie honoris causa, 1989). We are grateful for his generous support and significant impact on the Law School and the wider Dalhousie community. Born in Stellarton, Nova Scotia in 1934, Donald Sobey was the youngest son of Frank H. Sobey, founder of the Sobeys grocery chain. Donald was president of the Empire Company Ltd., the parent company for Sobeys, from 1969 until he was appointed chair in 1985. He was named chair emeritus in 2004. Donald Sobey was a giant in the Canadian and international business communities and yet he remained deeply committed to and passionate about Nova Scotia and the value of small communities and the people who live in them. He believed strong and inclusive communities are essential to thriving economies and societies as reflected in his insistence that the head offices of Sobeys and the Empire corporation remain in Stellarton and his life-long commitment as a Pictou County resident. His belief in the importance of just, inclusive, and welcoming communities prompted his support for the new Restorative Research, Innovation and Education Lab through the funding of a Chair in Restorative Justice at the Schulich School of Law. He also believed that justice must be compassionate, responsive to the needs of those affected and focused on finding a way forward to a better future. His investment in the Restorative Lab will have a lasting and meaningful impact on communities here in Nova Scotia and around the world. The Schulich School of Law has lost a friend and strong supporter in Donald R. Sobey.