Honorary Degrees

N.B.: The detail displayed about each honorary degree recipient varies, as the database was compiled from a variety of sources. However, more information may be available at the University Archives.


Honorary Degree recipent, Don Listwin, 2000 (University Secretary fonds)
Name: Donald J. Listwin, B.E.
Convocation date: May 30, 2001
Discipline / contribution: business and industry ; communications; technology
Citation / biographical information:
Don Listwin was born and raised in Saskatoon and attended Evan Hardy Collegiate. He entered the College of Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan in September 1976. While at university he played Huskie Volleyball in the 1976-80 seasons. When on the team the University of Saskatchewan Huskies won two Canada West titles and a CIAU National Championship in 1978/79. He graduated from the College of Engineering in 1980 with a B.E. in Electrical Engineering and he credits Mr. Jerry Huff, a professor in the College of Engineering, with introducing him to his chosen field. Upon graduation, Mr. Listwin joined Develcon Electronics Ltd. in Saskatoon, where he led the company’s expansion to Silicon Valley in the early 1980s. Throughout his career, Mr. Listwin has established a strong track record for producing results, driving exponential growth and shaping new markets both at home and abroad. He also has been recognized for aggressively pursuing and securing strategic acquisition opportunities. In 1990, after nine years with Develcon, he joined Cisco Systems, the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. He held a variety of leadership positions during his 10 years at Cisco Systems and was eventually promoted to Executive Vice President, reporting directly to the CEO. While at Cisco Systems, he led many of the company’s leading growth strategies, such as entry into IBM Internetworking, the access market, and the telecommunications service provider market. He also spearheaded Cisco’s strategy to build the company’s “New World” communications network, a network based entirely on Internet technology. While developing this new business strategy, Mr. Listwin invented the concept of the Internet ecosystem, a new business model for defining success in the Internet economy. Currently, Mr. Listwin is President and CEO of Openwave Systems, where his focus is on developing and growing Openwave, the worldwide leader of open Internet-based communication infrastructure software. Openwave is the company formed by the merger between Software.com and Phone.com, two leading telecommunications software companies. Openwave provides the software that makes the mobile Internet work. Under his leadership, Openwave has continued to grow its customer base worldwide and build shareholder value. Openwave’s Canadian customers include Bell Mobility, Nortel Networks, Rogers AT&T and Telus. His primary philanthropic activity is serving as the chairman of the Board of Directors for NetAid, an on-going, worldwide Internet-based program that empowers individuals to help eradicate poverty in developing nations. Under his direction, Cisco Systems, along with the United Nations Development Programme, founded NetAid (www.netaid.org) in 1999. NetAid is not meant simplyto be a fundraiser, but rather promotes the use of the Web to end poverty throughout the world. Mr. Listwin also serves on the Board of Directors for Openwave, JDS Uniphase, TIBCO, MarketltRight.com and Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. Don and his family reside in Los Altos Hills, California.
Degree received: Doctor of Laws
Degree presented by: Peter MacKinnon, President

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