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Spotlight on alumni

Gary Peddle is a managing director with St. John's-based Benson Buffett, one of Atlantic Canada's leading law firms. A graduate of Memorial's bachelor of commerce and MBA programs, Mr. Peddle is an active volunteer locally and nationally and has been recognized for his volunteerism by the St. John's Board of Trade. He is also a Memorial University Alumni Tribute award winner for his significant volunteer work. This summer, he is giving back to Memorial once again as the Reunion 2012 chair. Mr. Peddle talks about volunteerism and his involvement with Reunion 2012 in this interview with Gazette contributor Jennifer Batten.

JB: You have been a committed Memorial University alumnus for many years, volunteering with us in several capacities. What does giving back to the university mean to you? Why do you do it?
GP: When you believe in a cause it is easy to give back. The education and experience I gained from attending Memorial has enabled me to get to where I am now. I have two daughters who both graduated from Memorial this past May, and I believe their degrees will help give them a solid start in their careers. I strongly believe in the value of education, and if I can give back to Memorial in some small way, then I hope I may be helping young people get on the right track as they explore their career options.

JB: You're volunteering with Reunion 2012 this summer - what is your role in the event?
GP: I am delighted to be the chair of Reunion 2012. But while I may be the chair, there is an excellent steering committee in place working hard behind the scenes to plan the event, and we are guided every day by a huge number of volunteers from all over. There are also many committed partners on board with the reunion, helping to make it happen. The involvement of The City of St. John's, Newfoundland Power, Steele Communications, TC Media and many more, has been incredible.

JB: What is the ultimate goal of Reunion 2012? What do you expect to achieve with this event?
GP: The ultimate goal of the reunion is to provide a mechanism for alumni to reconnect and stay connected with Memorial. Also, we want to leave a legacy for future reunions. We want to provide a channel for alumni locally and living away, to stay in touch and support their university. We look forward to celebrating some of the amazing graduates from Memorial, from musicians and authors to engineers and entrepreneurs, and graduates from countless other disciplines.

JB: How can people become involved with Reunion 2012?
GP: I would say if you've seen the event listing on the Reunion 2012 website and you're interested in being part of the festivities, take the next step and register. Available spots for many events are limited and filling up. Our big concert at Mile One Centre, for example, will be an evening to remember. This event will be a big celebration and a great way to spend five days of your summer. I hope to see you there!