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Order recipients connected to Memorial

Lt.-Gov. John Crosbie announced the individuals inducted into the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador in recent months. Among those named – Alton Best, Angus A. Bruneau, Sister Elizabeth Davis, Frances Ennis, Susan Green, Dr. Wayne Nesbit, Ches Penney and Frances Vardy – are several people with deep connections to Memorial.

Dr. Angus Bruneau is the founding dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and one of the newest research spaces at Memorial is named in his honour, the Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation.

Upon his 2006 retirement as chair of the board at Fortis Inc., Dr. Bruneau's colleagues at the corporation contributed $100,000 towards the renovation of the main lecture hall in the university's S.J. Carew Engineering building, since known as the Angus Bruneau Engineering Lecture Theatre.

In 2007 the university was the recipient of a generous $1 million donation from Dr. Bruneau and his wife Dr. Jean Bruneau.

Dr. Wayne Nesbit, Faculty of Education, is an inspirational teacher and influential scholar who championed special education to generations of teachers in Newfoundland and Labrador. Dr. Nesbit received the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1993.

Sister Elizabeth Davis was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Memorial in 2002. As the first CEO of the St. John's Health Care Corporation, Sr. Elizabeth was faced with the daunting task of amalgamating six of the province's busiest health-care institutions. Her leadership abilities ensured the inevitable changes were undertaken with genuine sensitivity to the needs of clients and the impact on the lives of staff.

In recognition of the success of his first 47 years as an entrepreneur, his contributions to the economy and workforce of the province and his generosity to the community, Ches Penney was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Memorial in 2005.

Meanwhile, Lt.-Gov. Crosbie also inducted Lanier Phillips as an honorary member of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador. An honorary membership may be presented to an individual who is not a Canadian citizen or a current or former long-term resident of the province but whose endeavours have benefited the province and its residents in an outstanding manner.

Dr. Phillips received an honorary doctor of laws degree from Memorial in 2008.
On the frigid night of Feb. 18, 1942, the USS Truxton, the USS Pollux and the USS Wilkes were shipwrecked off Newfoundland's south coast. Lanier Phillips was among the 186 rescued from the Truxton wreckage. During the days that followed, Mr. Phillips came to the realization that there were places in the world that treated everyone equally, moving him to work tirelessly for civil rights. Tens of millions have heard Mr. Phillips' eloquent story — always acknowledging the generous hearts of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The investiture took place at Government House Sept. 13.

The Order of Newfoundland and Labrador is the highest honour of the province and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in any field of endeavour benefiting Newfoundland and Labrador and its residents in an outstanding manner. The first investiture took place in 2004.

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