About Saint Mary's

One World Alumni Awards Gala Celebrates Santamarian Spirit

1 October, 2015

Annual event takes place on October 15th during Homecoming

The values of Saint Mary’s University will be on full display during Homecoming on October 15th as the One World Alumni Awards Gala celebrates the Santamarians and organizations who are working to improve the communities we live and learn in.

One World Award

This year’s stand-up reception will announce the recipient of the One World Award, given to an organization with close ties to Saint Mary's that is making our world a better place. The top three finalist charities are Brigadoon, The McPhee Centre for Creative Learning, and Peaceful Schools International. The winner is selected on a balance of jury selection and an online vote. The Saint Mary’s community and the general public are invited to watch videos about each charity and to vote for their preferred charity.

Tickets to this year’s event are on sale now for $20 ($10 for students).

Alumni Awards

‌Long-standing alumni and new alumni alike will be honoured at the gala. The Distinguished Community Service Award will be awarded to Gerald “Gerry” Walsh BComm’76 and Cassandra ‌‌Dorrington BComm’81 EMBA’00 for generously serving the Saint Mary’s community and the community at large.

Walsh is the founder and president of Gerald Walsh Associates Inc, a firm that helps employers hire, manage and develop their employees. His strong belief in giving back to the is shown through his firm’s involvement with numerous groups and non-profits including the Blue Nose Marathon, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Brunswick Street Mission, Women of Excellence Awards, and Feed Nova Scotia.

Dorrington is the President and CEO of CAMSC – the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council, where she leads the charge of championing business relationships and economic growth of the Canadian supply chain through the inclusion of Aboriginal and Minority suppliers. In addition to her wide range of experiences in the business world, her ongoing community involvement has been recognized with the Commemorative Medal for the 125th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Community Service, and a 2010 Women of Excellence award.

This year’s Volunteer of the Year Award will be presented to Murray Wilson BA’65 BEd’70. The award is presented to an individual that provides outstanding service to the Saint Mary’s and the Alumni Association on a volunteer basis. Wilson retired from Saint Mary’s in 2007, following a 35-year career with the University that culminated in his role as associate registrar. For the past 15 years he has served on the steering committee for the Sports Hall of Fame & Heritage Centre. He was on the building committee for the Atrium and Science Building renovation, and has been an academic advisor to various varsity athletic teams at the University.

There are two recipients of the Young Alumni of the Year Award this year, with Jeff Mitchell BA’11 and Heather MacDonald EMBA’15 both being honoured.

Jeff Mitchell Mitchell is a lawyer with Carter Ford LLP and in 2013 was named as one of the Top 50 Emerging Leaders of Atlantic Canada. He continues to give back to the Saint Mary's community through organizing the SMU Future Lawyers event, generously donating his time and skills as a mentor to a group of students competing in the Osgoode Cup, and through his close work with Career Services that helps students on the path to law school.

Heather MacDonaldMacDonald is the executive director of the MacPhee Centre for Creative Learning. She has extensive board experience with volunteer groups, and is a member and former mentor with FUSION Halifax, a Trustee with Awesome Halifax, and an active volunteer with the Scotiabank Blue Nose Marathon, where she was recognized in May with a Volunteer Award for her six years of commitment to the organization.

‌Each year, a non-Saint Mary’s alum is welcomed into the Saint Mary’s family as recipient of the 
Lori ForbesAssociate Alumni Award. This year Lori Forbes, communications and event coordinator for Athletics and Recreation. Whether organizing an event on campus or volunteering in the community, Forbes is always a proud and positive representative of Saint Mary’s and the Huskies. She is highly regarded within Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), the national governing body for her profession of which she is a board member, and by her colleagues across the country.

The Father Stewart Medal for Excellence in Teaching is presented to a faculty member who has made significant contribution to the education of Saint Mary’s students through excellence in teaching and service to the University. This year the award will be given to Dr. Ellen Farrell MBA’88, Associate Professor in the Department of Management.

Dr. Farrell is one of the driving forces behind the school’s Entrepreneurship stream of programs. She is not only a popular professor among her current and former students, but is also a highly regarded expert in the field of venture capital.

Dr. Farrell’s 20-year teaching mission is “to create a generation of students who have the vision and ability to build big ideas, and the capacity and the confidence to do it.” Her outstanding and innovative teaching abilities have been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally.