Billionaire Clay Riddell dies at 81
MRU Library is named after this oil tycoon and Flames co-owner
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor
On Sept. 7 2017, Mount Royal University (MRU) held a formal opening for the Riddell Library and Learning Centre. The four-story building has since become a hub for learning and innovation.
The library’s name recognizes a significant donation made by the Riddell Family Charitable Foundation as part of the University’s Changing the Face of Education fundraising campaign. This campaign was launched in 2011 to help MRU raise $250 million.
A representative of the foundation, Clay Riddell, was in attendance at the formal program. But, just over a year later Riddell has passed away. The Globe and Mail reported that his death was caused by “a brief, unspecified illness.”
MRU offered their condolences through the official school twitter account, “We remember with deep respect and admiration renowned philanthropist and community builder Clay Riddell, and extend our deepest sympathies to the Riddell family at this difficult time.”
Riddell, now remembered in the name of MRU’s library, is also being remembered as a business titan and community member.
Forbes reported that Riddell’s 2018 net worth was $1.2 Billion. Riddell is known for being the founder and former chief executive of Paramount Resources Ltd. He started Paramount in 1974 and was CEO until 2015, when he handed reigns to his son, Jim Riddell. He had stakes in many oil, gas and energy companies.
The self-made oil and gas businessman was also a co-owner of the Calgary Flames.
According to the Calgary Flames’ website, Riddell joined the ownership group in 2003-2004 because of “his passion for his home team, love of the sport”
Ken King, Vice Chairman & CEO for the Flames, released a statement on the team’s website as well. “We mourn the passing of a great man of industry, sports, philanthropy and human decency along with our city, province and country. His legacies to all of us are immeasurable. To his family: our gratitude, respect and deepest sympathy.”
Mayor Naheed Nenshi tweeted to Riddell’s legacy in the city, “Incredibly sad. Clay was a titan of our community—in industry, philanthropy, sport and education. Calgarians feel his legacy now and we will feel it for many years to come. My heart goes out [to] his family and friends in this difficult time. Know that we all mourn with you today.”