John Thomas Ferguson (2000–2004)
John Thomas Ferguson was born in Edmonton on December 21, 1941; he graduated from the University of Alberta in 1964 with a Bachelor of Commerce.
He became a chartered accountant, and, from 1961 to 1975, he worked for Numac Oil and Gas Ltd. as Vice-President and Treasurer. In 1975, he founded Princeton Developments Ltd; the company has grown to become a major player in Canadian commercial real estate development and a world leader in cold-weather climate property development.
Ferguson is on the Board of Directors of numerous other corporations, including The Royal Bank of Canada, Suncor Energy Inc., and TransAlta Corporation. He has also been involved with the United Way.
A former chairman of the Board of Governors (1994–1997), Ferguson is also a former chairman of Research Technology Management Inc., a University of Alberta company created to profitably commercialize University researched technologies through the creation of spin-off companies. In addition, he is the founder of the Northwest Territories Youth Education Program and a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Alberta Foundation.
With his strong commitment to community service and educational support, Ferguson has served as chairman of the United Way Major Corporation Division, director of the Family Service Association of Edmonton, a founding member of the Board of Trustees of the Ernest C. Manning Awards, and a board member of Ridley College and of the Conference Board of Canada.
In recognition of his accomplishments in the areas of business and community service, Ferguson has received several honours, including election as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants (1995) and an honorary Doctorate of Laws (LLD honoris causa) from the University of Alberta (1998).
Ferguson was named the seventeenth Chancellor of the University of Alberta on June 14, 2000.