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Tribute to alumni

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Clockwise from top: Edward Roberts, Tom Bursey, Priscilla Corcoran Mooney, Harold Mullowney.

By Bojan Fürst


On Oct. 27, the Alumni Association of Memorial University of Newfoundland will once again celebrate the achievements of some of their most accomplished members at the 28th Alumni Tribute Awards. The event is co-chaired by Heidi Janes and Nath Sheppard.

“We are very excited to be able to announce this year’s recipients of the Alumni Tribute Awards. They are truly exceptional alumni who have made an extraordinary contribution to their communities and to Memorial,” said Ms. Janes.

Dr. Edward Roberts is the 2009 recipient of the Alumnus of the Year award. Dr. Roberts has dedicated his life to Newfoundland and Labrador as a public servant, Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Chair of the Board of Regents of Memorial University of Newfoundland. He received an honorary degree from Memorial in 2003.

“Dr. Roberts’ passion for this province, its people, its history and especially for Labrador is unrivaled,” said Ms. Janes. “I cannot imagine a person more deserving of this award.”

Harold Mullowney is the recipient of the 2009 Outstanding Community Service Award. “Anybody who knows Mr. Mullowney, knows that his dedication to the community is exemplary. We are very proud to count him as one of our own and we are excited to be able to recognize his community work with the highest praise we can bestow on our alumni,” said Ms. Janes.

Mr. Mullowney’s dedication to his home community of Bay Bulls and the entire Irish Loop is unprecedented. As a councillor, mayor, volunteer and community organizer, Mr. Mullowney is a driving force behind a range of environmental, economic development, tourism, heritage and civic initiatives and partnerships in the area.

“Priscilla Corcoran Mooney has boundless energy,” says Nath Sheppard of this year’s Horizon Award recipient. The award recognizes extraordinary achievements of Memorial alumni under the age of 35.

Ms. Corcoran Mooney is an entrepreneur, a social worker, community activist and the youngest mayor in the history of Branch.

“Her enthusiasm for rural Newfoundland communities is contagious,” says Mr. Sheppard.

The recipient of the 2009 J.D. Eaton Alumni Award recognizing an outstanding contribution to Memorial University is Tom Bursey. The founder and current chair of the Affinity Newfoundland and Labrador Ottawa Dinner, Mr. Bursey has been a driving force behind one of the most successful alumni events in the University’s history.

“Tom’s infectious enthusiasm is impossible to resist. The importance of the Affinity Dinner – entirely Tom’s concept - is impossible to overestimate. This single event has expanded to three other major Canadian centres and is crucial in creating and keeping the bonds of friendship and camaraderie that started at Memorial,” says Mr. Sheppard.

A nationally recognized expert in human resources, Mr. Bursey has always been generous with his time and talent and his support for Memorial. He is also the executive director, Corporate Services, Council of Canadian Academies, an active board director and board chair of CODE Inc. CODE Inc. contributes to the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations through its global work in democratic governance and by its financial support for the global literacy work of its sole shareholder, the Canadian charity CODE.

“The Alumni Tribute Awards are a really special event. This is a unique opportunity to pause and recognize remarkable achievements of people who have called Memorial home at some point in their lives and who still maintain a strong connection to the university,” says Mr. Sheppard.

This year’s ceremony will take place on Oct. 27 at R. Gushue Hall. For tickets and more information, please visit www.munalum.ca or call the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development at 709.737.2313.

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