Fifty-five years after receiving her journalism degree from Carleton College, Grete Hale receives an honourary degree for her life-long dedication to both the humanitarian and business worlds.
“Life is full of chapters. And now, here I am completing another chapter in my life,” says Hale. “I’m overjoyed and a bit astounded. It’s very humbling.”
Hale’s family members have been local pioneers and entrepreneurs ever since her great grandfather’s arrival to the city in 1818.
As she witnessed Ottawa bloom throughout the decades, she says Carleton has also been a part of that growth.
“I’m a baker’s daughter and I like to see what a little bit of yeast can do to make a lovely loaf of bread,” she says. “I like seeing small beginnings and seeing things grow. And Carleton University has grown with the community.”
Among many of Hale’s career accomplishments is her tireless work with NAFTA and amalgamating three Ottawa nursing schools under Algonquin College. Currently, she’s chairman emeritus of Morrison Lamothe Inc., a national frozen food company started by her father and now headquartered in Toronto.
But her parents also reinforced the importance of giving to others. And the 80-year-old still works to make the world a better place.
“On my 80th birthday this year, instead of asking my friends to get me a present, we raised $13,000 that’s going to a dormitory for AIDS orphans who have no home in Uganda,” she explains.
Hale continues to work with many local organizations, including the Community Foundation of Ottawa.
“I’ve had an incredible life journey, incredibly rich in experiences,” Hale says.
“I feel like I’m the wealthiest person alive through contributing to these wonderful organizations that I have been a part of.”