By Maroon & White |
The annual Alumni Awards recognize students, alumni, and staff who are making meaningful contributions in the local and global community and emphasize leadership and social responsibility.
This year, there were awards in four categories, all given out at the One World Alumni Awards Gala presented by TD Insurance, on October 12 at the Loyola Conference Hall.
Young Alumnus of the Year: Harry Ezenibe BA’14
Growing up in Nigeria, Harry Ezenibe discovered basketball was his safe haven. Now, through the Harry Cares Foundation, he uses basketball as a tool for youth empowerment and community development, education, and peace. The Foundation has reached more than 500 youth, and continues to work on establishing opportunities for youth in Nigeria to attend school in Canada and other parts of the world. While at Saint Mary’s, Harry became a successful student athlete, achieving a three-time CIS Academic All Canadian standing.
Paul Lynch Volunteer of the Year*: John Sime BComm’08
With a background in the military, international travel, and marketing, John Sime has myriad skills. The Saint Mary’s alumni puts his vast experience and gregarious personality to good use as Saint Mary’s Toronto Alumni Chapter President, organizing events and being the welcoming connection for new graduates moving to the city. John loves getting to know young alumni and helping them access opportunities in Toronto. He also volunteers his time with Venture for Canada, an organization that helps new graduates find work with startups.
Distinguished Community Service: Dr. Michael Durland BComm’87 DComm’10 & Catherine Durland BComm’87
From small-town Nova Scotia, Mike and Catherine met while studying at Saint Mary’s in the 1980s. After years of career success and community service, they have created the Durland Innovation Fund to support students in the Sobey School of Business Masters of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MTEI) program. Innovative technology startup companies and promising new ventures are birthed due to Mike and Catherine’s dedication to growing Nova Scotia’s economy through entrepreneurship and innovation.
Associate Alumnus of the Year: Dr. Patricia Bradshaw
As Dean of the Sobey School of Business since 2012, Pat has worked tirelessly to grow the Sobey School into an internationally renowned business school with a focus on community engagement. Pat is an inspiring leader to students, faculty, and alumni, who takes time to get to know the students of Saint Mary’s, and encourages them to find leadership qualities within themselves. There are hundreds of alumni, now living in various parts of the world, who have benefitted from Pat’s guidance and leadership.
Associate Alumnus of the Year: Larry Freeman
Larry Freeman is a well-known Halifax lawyer who has dedicated much of his time and expertise to organizations in Nova Scotia. Married to Former Lieutenant Governor the Honourable Myra Freeman, he has provided countless hours of public service and has been involved with numerous causes and associations that help to improve the lives of Nova Scotians. Larry currently sits on the Saint Mary’s University Board of Governors where he contributes to decision making that benefits Saint Mary’s students and helps to secure the future of the institution.
Associate Alumnus of the Year: Shirley Boudreau
Widely seen as a mother figure to many homesick first year students, Shirley prides herself on being a shoulder to lean on. This familiar face of the C-Store (formerly known as Orange County, EZ-Go, and To Go) founded her on-campus convenience store in 1984 and hasn’t missed a day of work in 20 years! Shirley, a 70-year-old great-grandmother, isn’t retiring any time soon. She truly loves being a part of the Saint Mary’s community and deeply believes in the Santamarian qualities of community engagement and giving back.
* We recently lost one of our biggest champions: Ottawa Chapter President Paul Lynch (BComm’76). Paul had pride in Saint Mary’s and is one of the best examples of a true Santamarian. For these reasons, the Volunteer of the Year award is named in his honour.