President's Report 2006 | Alumni

Alumni Highlights

Alumna appointed to head Canada's post office

Moya Greene

Moya Greene, BA'74, was named as the new head of Canada Post in 2005, after being nominated for the position in April.

A former senior bureaucrat and banking executive, Ms. Greene was among the first leaders selected to head a Canadian Crown corporation following a new, non-partisan federal process for making key federal appointments.

Maclean's magazine reported that John McCallum, minister responsible for Canada Post, referred her appointment to the Commons government operations committee for review after the Canada Post board had recommended her. Minister McCallum saw her appointment as a logical choice because of her "impressive background." He said the board believed she would be "a tremendous asset" to the crown corporation.

After graduating from Memorial in 1974, Ms. Greene attended Osgoode Hall Law School. Her 17-year federal career began in 1979. She served as an assistant deputy minister of transport handling such highly political issues as the privatization of CN and airline deregulation. She also figured as a key player in the overhaul of employment insurance. Ms. Green then joined the private sector, first as managing director for infrastructure financing at TD Securities, then senior vice-president at CIBC, before moving to Bombardier Inc. There she served as senior vice-president of operational effectiveness, working with Canadian business heavyweight Paul Tellier.

Her work as a leader with these companies has won accolades from such prestigious groups as the Women's Executive Network and the Ivey School of Business

Alumnus named to the Order of Canada

Dr. Otto Tucker

Dr. Otto Tucker, BA(Ed)'55, LLD'97, was named a member of the Order of Canada. Born in Winterton, Jan. 1, 1923, Dr. Tucker is a well-known educator, author and commentator.

Dr. Tucker represented the Salvation Army as an officer, teacher and school principal in communities throughout the province. And after teaching at Acadia University and the University of Toronto, he was appointed to the Faculty of Education at Memorial. He retired in 1995

Among his other accomplishments, he is co-founder of the Wessex Society of Newfoundland which promotes Newfoundland's ties to the western England. This connection has in material benefits to the province such as the restoration of the Garland House in Trinity, and also in educational benefits such as research and study tours across the Atlantic.

Dr. Tucker's many other awards include the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador; the Canada 125 medal; the Heritage Award of the Newfoundland Historical Society, the Silver Cross of St. George and the honorary degree of doctor of law from Memorial University.

Alumnus takes the helm at Memorial's Marine Institute

Glenn Blackwood

Following his appointment by Memorial's Board of Regents, Glenn Blackwood, B.Sc.(Hons.)'83 MA'96, assumed the role of executive director of the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) this past year. He has been involved in the fishery and marine industry for the past 25 years and had considerable experience with both government and industry.

In this executive position, Mr. Blackwood oversees all operations of the Marine Institute including strategic planning, student support, program development, industrial liaison, government relations, financial planning and human resource development. Mr. Blackwood will represent the Marine Institute on a variety on provincial, national and international organizations.

Prior to taking the post, Mr. Blackwood worked as director of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources within the School of Fisheries at the Marine Institute where he was responsible for MI's research and development activities related to harvesting technologies conservation and selectivity, gear technology and resource management.

Alumni Association President recognized for distinguished public service

Gary Peddle

It was no surprise to anyone who knows Gary Peddle (or serves with him on any one of the not—for-profit boards for which he volunteers tirelessly) that he was awarded a Distinguished Public Service Award. The Canadian Bar Association made the award in July 2006 to recognize Mr. Peddle's contributions to the community locally, regionally and nationally.

Despite the demands of a successful professional career as a lawyer and senior partner with Benson Myles, Gary Peddle, B.Comm.(Hons.)'82; MBA'85, still finds the time to volunteer hundreds of hours every year to not-for-profit organizations locally and nationally. He has chaired the local, Atlantic region and national boards of Big Brothers and Big Sisters. And he was instrumental in increasing the number of children served in Canada from 8,600 to over 19,000.

Mr. Peddle has begun a second term as president of the Memorial University Alumni Association — which has a membership of 60,000 alumni. He is a former member of the Board of Regents, Memorial University of Newfoundland's governing body.

The charter president of the Rotary Club of St. John's East and founding member of the Rotary Club of St. John's East Foundation, Gary Peddle is well respected by Rotarians. They presented him with the Paul Harris Fellowship one of the highest awards a Rotarian can receive. And he was awarded a Queen's Jubilee Medal for community service.

As a founding member and incoming president of the board of United Way of Avalon, Mr. Peddle is leading an initiative to help other non-profit organizations to grow partnerships and improve financially. He is also a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board for the Eastern District.

Memorial alumnus and professor receives the highest academic accolade in Canada

Dr. Ronald Rompkey has been elected a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada.
(Photo by Chris Hammond)

Dr. Ronald Rompkey, University Research Professor in the Department of English, has been elected a fellow in the Royal Society of Canada (RSC) — considered the highest academic accolade in the country.

Dr. Rompkey is among 82 new fellows chosen this year and only the eighth Memorial faculty member ever to achieve this honour. The RSC elects members from all branches of learning who have achieved national and international recognition by publishing learned works or original research in the arts, humanities and sciences. Founded in 1882, the RSC currently has a membership of about 1,800 fellows.

"This provides the opportunity to be a member of a wide community of scholars," Dr. Rompkey said. However, he believes the greatest benefit is the validation that the fellowship confers. "It's meant to recognize the accomplishments of those well advanced in their careers," he explained, noting that following his nomination, there was "a long, arduous process of triage."

"This is an important recognition of the work, and it allows an opportunity to continue that work," noted Dr. Rompkey, who holds a master's in English Literature from Memorial and a doctorate from the University of London. He joined Memorial's faculty in 1984 after working at the universities of Victoria, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Lethbridge and Maine. In 2003, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Much of his work has focused on the literature, arts and culture of Newfoundland. He is the author of a biography of Sir Wilfred Grenfell and the editor of several other publications, including Reginald Shepherd & Helen Parson Shepherd: A Life Composed, which was named the Best Atlantic Published Book for 2006.

Alumnus doing his part to protect marine environment

Donald Humphry

The creatures that live in the deep blue sea are no strangers to Sir Wilfred Grenfell College graduate Donald Humphrey, B.Sc.'04, has worked consistently in mapping and preserving the marine environment since he graduated two years ago.

In Bermuda Mr. Humphrey studied and worked on coral reef ecosystems. Working closely with the Bermuda Aquarium and Zoo, he conducted coral reef and seagrass assessments as part of the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment Protocol.

Other projects included tagging sea turtles, cataloging shipwrecks and support for the West Indian topshell recovery initiative. With the Bermuda Biological Station for Research he taught visiting American university students about coral reef ecology Since returning to Canada in 2005 Mr. Humphrey has worked his way across Canada from environmental assessments for the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Nova Scotia to investigating potentially invasive aquatic life introduced in ballast water to Vancouver harbour for the University of British Columbia. This research will examine which species threaten the west coast of Canada and whether common life history characteristics allow species to invade successfully.

Commerce grad on Top 40 list

Keith Mullett was recently named to the Globe and Mail Top 40 Under 40 list.

He isn't a pilot, but Keith Mullett is taking an international helicopter corporation to new heights. At 35, this graduate of Memorial's co-operative business degree program is the managing director of CHC Helicopter's European operations. And he's earned that role in just eight years with this New York Stock Exchange-listed corporation. In recognition of his remarkable progress, Mr. Mullet was named as one of Canada's top 40 under 40 by the Globe and Mail.

For a young man with such impressive stats, Mr. Mullett, BA(Co-op) (Hons.)'93, is quick to share the credit for his success.

"You are only a product of the team around you," he said in a recent interview by phone from his office in Aberdeen, Scotland. "That's what's great about CHC. You tend to be surrounded by very good people and team players."

Under his leadership the CHC team has saved $20 million for the European division by integrating European operations. They've also successfully re-negotiated an international pension plan in a highly unionized environment ­ reducing costs to the company and still satisfying union members with the terms.

The Gift of Two Lifetimes

The late Dr. Warren and Catherine Ball have left a generous legacy that offers tangible encouragement to future generations of students at Memorial University of Newfoundland. That in part was the message from university president Dr. Axel Meisen on Thursday, March 16. In the presence of a small gathering of the Ball's relatives and leading donors to Memorial University, he accepted a ceremonial cheque from Dr. and Mrs. Ball's estate, valued at over $1.3 million. "This bequest enables us to offer significant financial support to new students for the duration of their undergraduate studies. But the impact of this generosity will last a lifetime for every student who receives one of these scholarships," said Dr. Meisen.

The gift will be used to create the Warren and Catherine Ball Memorial Entrance Scholarships valued at approximately $7,500 per year for up to four years of study to students entering Memorial University for the first time. This scholarship will be awarded on the basis of scholarship standing by the Senate Committee on Undergraduate Scholarships and Financial Aid. The number of annual scholarships will be determined by the University's endowment spending policy.

The ceremonial cheque was presented at a campus event, the Legacy Tea, sponsored by Alumni Affairs and Development to recognize those who have made a bequest to Memorial University. Presenting the cheque to Dr. Meisen, on behalf of the late Dr. and Mrs. Ball, was their grand nephew, Christopher Ball, aged nine years. His mother Donna Ball is the manager of finance and administration in the School of Music. Born in Badger, Newfoundland, Warren Ball was one of three boys and two girls born to Ford and May Ball. During the Second World War, Dr. Ball served with the Royal Canadian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He earned an engineering diploma from Memorial University College in 1942, and went on to complete an electrical and engineering degree at the Technical University of Nova Scotia in 1944. There he won the Governor General's Medal for outstanding academic achievement. In 1946 he earned a master's degree in applied science from the University of Toronto where he met his future wife, Catherine Green, a graduate of library science.

In 1957 Dr. Ball received a doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Cornell University. He went on to work for Bell Telephone Laboratories in a division of the company concerned with technology for the aerospace program. His work there was so top secret that, at one point in the early 1960s, two members of the FBI showed up in Dr. Ball's hometown as part of a security check. For the last 22 years of his working career, Dr. Ball taught at the New Jersey Institute of Technology where, in 1982, he was recognized with an award for teaching excellence. Dr. Ball retired in 1990 to Morristown, New Jersey. He was 70 years old at the time of his death in 1994.

Catherine Ball was very involved in the community and worked as a volunteer at the United Nations. Until her death in 2005, Ms. Ball supported the local church, the library and the school board. She, like her late husband, had a strong commitment to scholarship and to education as the foundation of a strong community. Assistant director Lynda Parsons, Alumni Affairs and Development, said Mr. and Mrs. Ball's gift to Memorial University will be of extraordinary benefit to Memorial's students and will "create a legacy of excellence that reflects on the commitment to education and the generosity that marks the lives of Catherine and Dr. Warren Ball."

Grenfell grad returns to roots

Bruce Byrne (BFA '97), Grenfell College's shop supervisor/stagecraft carpentry instructor, works on a set piece from the fourth-year production Bog of Cats in the theatre stagecraft workshop. Photo by Pamela Gill.

So far, you could sum up the career of theatre grad Bruce Bryne (BFA '97) in one word: Wicked. And for many reasons — not the least of which are his stagecraft experiences on the set of the Broadway musical Wicked which has taken the world by storm. The Port aux Basques native has worked on roughly 35 major motion pictures, including Shanghai Noon, Shanghai Knights, Rat Race, Rollerball and the blockbuster K-19: The Widow Maker, where he held the position of head carpenter. It's fortunate then for Grenfell College that last fall Bruce decided to return to his roots. He is the shop supervisor/stagecraft carpentry instructor for the theatre program at Grenfell. In the course of working on numerous Broadway and movie productions, he has helped develop many safety procedures which are now industry standard. "I am back home to instruct, share my knowledge of the entertainment industry and, hopefully, to reinforce the job opportunities that could be developed through film at the Pepsi Centre sound stage," he said, referring to the latest addition to Memorial's Corner Brook campus. "I love teaching the students here, and showing them what waits for them beyond their academic careers."

Grads help music school become a force to be reckoned with

From left, Memorial alumnus Chad Stride, School of Music professor Dr. Doug Dunsmore and Dr. Tom Gordon, director, are all smiles as they sit in the newly-refurbished D. F. Cook Recital Hall. The facility, which has hosted thousands of budding performers and established musicians over the years, was recently re-painted, new carpet was laid and new seats were installed. A grand re-opening was held on Sept. 11, 2006.

The School of Music hit all the right notes this past, making headlines and attracting attention that's reverberated well beyond the university. And, its alumni played a major part in the school's success. During the CBC/Radio Canada National Radio Competition for Amateur Choirs on May 2, several groups under the direction of Memorial graduates performed impressively. Lady Cove Women's Choir, under the direction of alumna Kellie Walsh, placed first in the Equal Voice Female category. Ms. Walsh is the founder and artistic director of that group and holds bachelor degrees in both music and music education from Memorial, as well as a masters degree in conducting. The group Cantus Vocum Chamber Choir, conducted by Chad Stride, an honours graduate from Memorial's School of Music and Faculty of Education, received an honourable mention during the competition. Another major award handed out during the competition had connections to the university. The Galaxie Rising Star Award for the choir with the most potential in the entire competition that did not place in the finals was awarded to Newman Sound, whose co-conductors include veteran School of Music professor Dr. Douglas Dunsmore and Ms. Walsh. That award came with a $2,000 prize. And, alumnus Sean Rice was awarded the first prize in the Orchestre symphonique de Québec Canadian Concerto Competition this past year. Mr. Rice is now studying at the Julliard School of Music in New York.