Paul Lynch Volunteer of Year Award

The Paul Lynch Volunteer of Year Award recognizes candidates annually who have shown outstanding voluntary service to the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association.

All University employees and members of the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association may submit a one-page letter of recommendation for a candidate, illustrating their suitability for this award. A completed Alumni Awards Nomination Form must accompany the letter.

Selection Candidates are considered annually by the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association's Awards & Nomination Committee.

Timeline Click the link above for the Nomination Form. Nominations close on June 28, 2019. The award for 2018 is presented during the One World Alumni Gala at Homecoming.

Past Recipients:

2018 Paul Lynch Volunteer of the Year - Mary-Evelyn Ternan BA'69 BEd'70 MEd'88

Mary-Evelyn Ternan was in the first co-hort of full time female students at Saint Mary’s in 1968. At that time, her father James Ternan DipEng'35 was Director of Summer School and Evening Division, and Mary-Evelyn came to SMU to finish her undergraduate credits. Many of her family members also attended SMU, including siblings Gerry Ternan BSc'69 and Patricia Ternan Rutter BComm'74 BEd'77 and nephew Stephen Ternan BComm'96. Now, 50 years later, Mary-Evelyn is known as one of Saint Mary’s most dedicated volunteers, and a familiar friendly face on campus.

As one of the first 50 women attending SMU full time, she remembers facing obstacles such as a lack of amenities, no residence rooms, and a less than enthusiastic welcome from some of her peers. Over the years she says attitudes changed and the atmosphere was elevated with the inclusion of women on campus. During her time as an undergrad student, she was part of the Drama Club. After graduating with her BEd in 1970, Mary-Evelyn worked as an elementary school teacher in Halifax until 2003, while also being active with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union both locally and provincially. She spent her time volunteering with the Federal and Provincial Liberal Party Associations and as secretary of the Amici del Vino club for Italian food and wine enthusiasts. She spends her down time entertaining friends, reading, and spending time with Dora, her English Springer Spaniel.

Mary-Evelyn came back to Saint Mary’s and joined the Alumni Council in 2009 after speaking to Greg Poirier MBA’03 former President of the Alumni Council who encouraged her to apply. Since then, she has held the position of Alumni Member at Large, Council President (2014-2016), Council Past-President (2016-2018), and as member of the Board of Governors (2014-2017). Her time as Council President was a busy one, with Mary-Evelyn rarely missing a special event or meeting on campus and even travelling to meet with Alumni living across Canada. During Convocation ceremonies, she made sure to shake each graduate’s hand with a warm “Welcome to the Alumni family!”

Her dedication to the Saint Mary’s community has been outstanding, and even included special deliveries of cookies to SMUSA and the Alumni Office from time to time.  She may be completing her term with the Alumni Council this Fall, but she will always be a proud member of the Alumni family and an example of a true Santamarian.

2018 Paul Lynch Alumni Volunteer of the Year - Jimmy Ho BComm'79

Jimmy Ho came to Saint Mary’s from China in 1976 to study commerce after hearing about the University’s great program. As a student, he was a member of the Chinese Student Association and participated in the Chinese New Year banquet with the Lion Dance team. 

After graduating in 1979 with his Bachelor of Commerce, Jimmy returned to Hong Kong and worked as a computer programmer in a multinational company. He got involved in the Hong Kong Alumni Chapter in 2013, and began organizing events for the Chapter in 2016. 

The Hong Kong chapter has organized many alumni events including casual gatherings, industry visits for BNUZ students, hiking tours, a Canada 150 celebration, and collaborative events with Dalhousie Alumni in the region. All of the events are well promoted and documented on the Saint Mary’s Hong Kong Alumni website, which he maintains. When University delegates visit Hong Kong, Jimmy goes above and beyond to plan special trips and dinners, and takes the time to tour the city with visitors.  

In 2018, the first cohort of students with joint degrees from Beijing Normal University Zhuhai and Saint Mary’s University graduated from the Zhuhai campus, and Jimmy arranged for alumni to make the trip for the special event, even organizing alumni and honour guard volunteers for the Convocation ceremony. 

Jimmy has been instrumental to maintaining connections to alumni in Hong Kong and serving as a liaison between the University and alumni in the region. On why it’s important for him to remain connected to SMU Alumni, Jimmy says “SMU alumni can be found all over the world. As I have heard, as many as 170 countries. To remain connected to SMU has a great potential of remaining connected with people all around the globe. I might not need any connection today, but certainly I might need it sometime in my life - for work or for play.” 

  • 2018: Mary-Evelyn Ternan BA'69 BEd'70 MEd'88 & Jimmy Ho BComm'79
  • 2017: John Sime BComm'08
  • 2016: Mike McKenzie BComm'80
  • 2015: Murray Wilson 
  • 2014: Kathy Mullane
  • 2013: Paul Puma
  • 2012: Bob Warner
  • 2011: Nate Gildart, Marcel Dupupet, Meghan Van Gaal
  • 2010: Kathy Naulls amd Paul Hollingsworth
  • 2009: Frank Gervais and Carol Dodds
  • 2008: Zach Churchill
  • 2007: Paul Lynch and Paul O'Hearn
  • 2006: Richard Franklin
  • 2005: Dinah Grace
  • 2004: Bettina Pierre Gilles
  • 2003: Jamie O'Neil, Terry Donahoe, Sian Wren, Kirk Higgins and Paul Lynch
  • 2002: Tim Westhaver and Mary Lou Gomes