J. Donald Higgins, 1967
B.A., Denison University
M.B.A., Indian University
Retired Managing Director
Bank of Montreal
Mount Pleasant, S.C.
Citation awarded on Saturday, June 3, 2017
J. Donald Higgins is a seasoned financial services executive with extensive management and origination experience in international, corporate, and private banking. During 27 years with Harris Bank and its parent, Bank of Montreal, he established and managed offshore commercial and merchant banks in Asia, conceived and implemented a prototype private banking organization, and managed corporate lending groups. Don’s management skills, technical competency, and marketing orientation have produced significant financial results in all of his professional assignments. He has been recognized as a leader by his colleagues and the communities in which he has worked by being selected to serve on numerous corporate, professional, and community boards.
During his career, Don relocated twice to Singapore, spending a total of nine years overseas. Most of his assignments in the U.S. and Singapore included significant travel throughout the U.S., Asia, and Europe. In Singapore, he developed a strong interest in scuba diving which turned into a lifelong fascination with the ocean and marine life. This interest led to active involvement with major aquariums and support for marine conservation and sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation.
Don’s education includes a B.A. in industrial psychology from Denison and an M.B.A. with a specialty in international finance from Indiana University. From 1967 to 1970, he served as a gunnery officer on a destroyer with the Seventh Fleet and as an operations officer with the Coastal Surveillance Force in Vietnam. The exposure to various Asian cultures as a result of his naval service expanded his horizons and started him on his path to the international business world.
Don is an honorary trustee of Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium and director emeritus of the South Carolina Aquarium. He served as chair of Denison’s President’s Leadership Council and co-chaired five class of 1967 reunions. Don served on the board of the USO of Illinois and is a mentor to cadets in the Citadel’s business school.
Don and his wife, Peg, reside in the I’On neighborhood of Mount Pleasant, S.C.