NB Humanitarian


Sandra Irving headshotSandra Irving

Sandra Irving was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. She received her Bachelor of Arts with Distinction from the University of New Brunswick and a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

Sandra Irving is a woman of many passions – a champion of the transformative value of education, a leader in funding health research, and a powerful advocate for the outstanding contributions of Canadian academics. Her philanthropic and humanitarian interests are focused on affording individuals the opportunities they may not otherwise have: to study, to contribute, to succeed, and to thrive. 

Sandra Irving is a community leader in Atlantic Canada. She strongly supports education through student scholarships, mentorships and exchange programs. She has helped create opportunities for students in both Canada and the United States with scholarship support at educational institutes including the University of New Brunswick, Acadia University, St. Thomas University, St. Mary’s University, the University of Toronto and Dartmouth College and is personally committed to her scholarship students’ success.

Sandra’s commitment to country and community is seen in her service to many non-profit, public service organizations – from arts, to healthcare, and community organizations. She has been a key figure in helping Junior Achievement raise financial support for entrepreneurial business studies and served as a member of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission. As Chair of the President’s Advisory Council of the Royal Society of Canada: The Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences, she highlighted the importance of supporting Canada’s leading scholars and researchers and was instrumental in establishing the organization’s Atlantic Chapter. She is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

Together with her husband Arthur, Chairman of Irving Oil, Sandra was actively involved in the development of the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre and the Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens at Acadia University, the Beaubassin Environmental Research Station in Aulac, New Brunswick, and more recently, the creation of The Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth College, and the renovation of the Harriet Irving Library at UNB in the creation of the Harriet Irving Library Research Commons and the Harriet Irving Gardens.

A lover of dogs, Sandra and her family have contributed to the welcome and reception area and to healthcare at the Atlantic Veterinary College of UPEI.

As a cancer survivor, she and her husband — together with their daughter, Sarah — established a Chair in Cancer Research and a fund in Gastrointestinal Immuno-Oncology at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Presently, they are working with world leaders in Immunotherapy in organizing an International Symposium in July 2020.

In June 2014, Sandra was honoured as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Saint John for her many years of ‘service above self.’ She was presented with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her volunteer and public service activities in October 2012, and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003. In 2010, she, together with Arthur Irving, was awarded the World Baden-Powell Scout Fellowship for community service. She is an Honorary Degree recipient from St. Mary’s University, the University of New Brunswick, Acadia University and Dalhousie University.

On July 1, 2015, she was named to the Order of Canada for her outstanding service to her country.
Sandra enjoys music, bicycling, running and spending time with her family and her German and Dutch Shepherds.

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