Friend of Education - 2011

The Friend of Education Award, supported by Accretive Advisor, recognizes outstanding service or commitment to post-secondary or independent school education by a volunteer, organization, foundation, corporation or publication. The recipient will have made a significant contribution in a leadership role to the cause of institutional advancement or education in Canada. This award is made possible by Accretive Advisor.


Accretive Advisor



Thomas C. O'NeillThomas C. O’Neill, F.C.A., Ontario, Canada

Chair of the Board, BCE and Bell Canada (Since February 2009) and Chartered Accountant


The recipient of the 2011 Friend of Education Award is Tom O’Neill, Chairman of BCE, Inc. Mr. O’Neill has been a long-standing leader, donor, volunteer, mentor, advisor and champion of Canadian higher education, notably for Queen’s and Carleton Universities.


Mr. O'Neill is a corporate director and the retired Chair of the Board of PwC Consulting. He was formerly Chief Executive Officer of PwC Consulting, Chief Operating Officer of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Global, Chief Executive Officer of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Canada and Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Price Waterhouse Canada. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Queen's University and is a Chartered Accountant.


George N. Hood, Past Vice-Principal, Advancement at Queen’s University, wrote about Mr. O’Neill: “He is an original who has selflessly made an enormous impact through his own philanthropy and his seemingly boundless volunteerism, and the post-secondary education advancement profession in Canada is in his debt.”


Mr. O’Neill was a member of the External Audit Committee of the International Monetary Fund. He was Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors of Queen's University and its $262 million Campaign for Queen’s. In 2008, Mr. O'Neill was awarded a Fellowship by the Institute of Corporate Directors of Canada; in 2005, an Honorary Doctorate of Law by Queen's University; and in 1988, the Fellow Chartered Accountant designation by the Ontario Institute of Chartered Accountants.


A native of Quebec City, Tom speaks French fluently. He has lectured at the University of Toronto in the department of Political Economics, and taught commerce and finance courses. He has been involved in a number of business associations including both the Canadian and Ontario Institutes of Chartered Accountants.


He is a member of the Business Council on National Issues, serves on the Board of the Bank of Nova Scotia, is a past member of the Advisory Council of the Queen's University School of Business, and is past President and Director of the Stratford Shakespearean Festival.


Mr. O’Neill is currently Vice Chair of the Board for St. Michael’s Hospital. He sits on the boards of BCE Inc. (Chair), Bell Canada (Chair), Loblaw Companies Limited, Nexen Inc., and Adecco, S.A., and previously served on the Boards of Dofasco and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.


Wrote Principal Emeritus of Queen’s University, William C. Leggett, of Mr. O’Neill: “No effort was too great, no issue too small. This was also true of his advocacy role on behalf of the University – a role reflected in his omnipresence at alumni functions and fundraising events, his frequent involvement in government relations and his assistance as a ‘door opener’ to persons judged important to the advancement of the University and post-secondary education in general.”