Sandra and Arthur Irving are strong supporters of education and healthcare research having established student scholarships at Atlantic Canadian universities and at the University of Toronto. In the US at Dartmouth College, they have endowed a professorship, undergraduate studies in business and scholarships for Canadian students. They have established endowed Chairs in Cardiology and Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital and a Chair in Neurology at Lahey Hospital. As proponents of cancer research, especially in the field of immune oncology, together with Massachusetts General Hospital, they are hosting an International Symposium, attracting the world's leading scholars in the field, in July 2020.
Sandra has received recognition for her commitment to recognizing Canada's leading scholars in being named an honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Canada's senior national, bilingual council of distinguished Canadian scholars, humanists, scientists and artists. In 2014, Sandra was honored as a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Saint John for her many years of 'service above self.' She was presented with the Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal in 2003 and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her volunteer and public service activities in 2012. Sandra is an honorary degree recipient from the University of New Brunswick, Acadia University, St. Thomas University, St. Mary's University and Dalhousie University.
In 2016, Sandra was named to the Order of Canada, one of Canada's highest honors, for her outstanding service to her country. In 2019, she was recognized by the Canadian Red Cross in New Brunswick with the Humanitarian Award, honoring those whose leadership inspires others to pursue humanitarian goals.
In 2022, Sandra received the Order of New Brunswick, which honors current or former long-time residents of New Brunswick, Canada, who have demonstrated a high level of individual excellence and achievement in any field, having made outstanding contributions to the social, cultural or economic well-being of New Brunswick and its residents.
Together with her husband Arthur, daughter Sarah and Irving Oil, Sandra is dedicated to the work of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society.