TSAMPALIEROS, Gabriel T.

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Bruce Feldthusen, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section

Chancellor,

Most of us experience defining moments in our lives...big events, small events, chance encounters that ultimately shape who we are personally and professionally.

And in many ways, a measure of our true character rests in how we use those defining moments not just to build a good future for ourselves, but to share our good fortune with others.

Today, we're saluting the true character of Gabe Tsampalieros. Because, when it comes to using the guiding lights of life to help you achieve your personal dreams and crystallize your sense of community, Gabe is a model for all of us.

Gabriel Tsampalieros parle souvent de l’influence que son père, Theodosios, a eue sur lui, et surtout sur sa décision audacieuse de quitter sa Grèce natale pour venir s’établir au Canada afin d’offrir à sa famille un avenir meilleur.

Theodosios Tsampalieros était un entrepreneur dans le sens le plus pur du terme. C'est en travaillant aux côtés de son père, dans son restaurant de Montréal, que le jeune Gabriel a nourri sa passion pour le tourisme d'accueil.

Mais avant de se lancer lui-même en affaires, Gabriel a d'abord tenu à tracer son propre chemin. Avec le soutien de son père, il part à la conquête de son rêve : devenir avocat. Malgré des embûches qui en auraient certainement découragé d'autres, Gabriel fait son droit à l'Université d'Ottawa. Il y rencontre un mentor qui marquera sa vie, le professeur John Kavanagh.

He graduated in 1973 and went on to a successful legal career in Toronto as a partner with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt. In that time, however, his passion for business never ceased. As owner of a number of Harvey’s restaurant franchises, it seemed only natural to him that he take on managing his businesses full time. It was then that he founded Dinnerex Hospitality. Cara Operations came calling not long thereafter.

Under Gabe’s leadership as president and CEO, Cara became a leading food services company with operations throughout Canada. He also played an instrumental role in the company’s privatization by the Phelan family, before retiring from Cara last year.

Never one to rest on his laurels, Gabe has since acquired Second Cup and is now its chairman.

N’allez pas croire, toutefois, qu’une carrière aussi exigeante qu’impressionnante empêche Gabriel Tsampalieros de se consacrer à des causes sociales.

Il donne généreusement de son temps au Bureau des gouverneurs de la University of Guelph. Il soutient activement, tant par son aide financière que par son travail bénévole, la campagne de financement du Centre des sciences de l’Ontario, la Fondation de la recherche sur le diabète juvénile Canada, la Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto, l’association bénévole du St. Michael's Hospital, et bien d’autres encore.

Mais Gabriel Tsampalieros reste avant tout attaché à son alma mater. Il est persuadé que l’engagement de l’Université d’Ottawa en faveur du bilinguisme reflète parfaitement l’importance des deux grandes communautés linguistiques au Canada. En 2003, il va même jusqu’à accepter de coprésider la campagne de financement de 200 millions de dollars à l'Université, et il s'y investit corps et âme. Il continue encore aujourd’hui à jouer un rôle primordial en recueillant des fonds appréciables et en rehaussant la visibilité de l’Université dans des cercles d’affaires influents d’un bout à l’autre du pays.

Gabe has also made it his personal mission to give back to his law school. Thanks to his generosity, major endowment funds have been established for common law students. The foyer area of Fauteux Hall was renovated. The Tsampalieros Atrium was constructed to give our students a proper place to gather. And, finally, the John Kavanagh Faculty Lounge was built to provide an equally impressive space for our professors.

Together with his inspiring wife, Yolande, daughters Julia and recent University of Ottawa alumna, Dr. Anne, Gabe continues to make the University of Ottawa an important part of his life.

Chancellor, it is for these reasons that, in the name of the Senate of the University of Ottawa, we present to you, for the degree of Doctor of the University, Gabriel Tsampalieros, an entrepreneur with extraordinary vision; a champion of education; a philanthropist; a family man of great character; and a proud University of Ottawa graduate committed to ensuring that the time spent at his alma mater by today’s students is a defining moment in their lives as well.

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