News Archive



Cheers to Memorial alumni successes

MusicNL Industry Award Winners Announced



Alumni spotlight: Annette Hartery

When Annette Hartery, BSW’76, came to Memorial University, she found not only her calling, but also the confidence to never stop learning and become a leader in her field.

When Ms. Hartery came to the St. John’s campus after growing up in Corner Brook, it was her first time living away from home. At first she felt like “a fish out of water,” but the small class sizes and hands-on work experience in the School of Social Work confirmed that she had made the right choice.

The whale man

Where the icy waters of the Atlantic meet the rocky shores of Newfoundland and Labrador, one man used his empathy, work ethic and education to leave a whale of a legacy.

Though he is well-known for his time spent on the ocean, Dr. Jon Lien grew up in Clark, S.D., working on family farms and developing a love for animals. In 1968, after completing his doctoral studies in animal behaviour at Washington State University, he applied for post-secondary teaching positions in Winnipeg, Montreal, Hong Kong and Chile.

Alumni spotlight: Edmund Walsh

Edmund Walsh, BN’14, is not someone who lets an opportunity pass him by.

Growing up in Corner Brook, Mr. Walsh had no intention of pursuing a nursing degree, yet when the career path presented itself, he ended up completing a bachelor of nursing through the Western Regional School of Nursing.

He then went on to complete a master of science in nursing at Western University, where he is currently a first-year doctor of philosophy in nursing student.

While completing his degree at Memorial, Mr. Walsh received an opportunity that even further changed the trajectory of his career and had a strong influence on the person he is today.


Designing better, together

Remember the last time you turned down a job offer from Silicon Valley? Maybe not.

But that’s exactly what Adam Keating and Jeremy Andrews did to follow their vision with tech startup, CoLab Software. The product at the heart of the company is a software platform they call Gradient.

Alumni spotlight: Clyde Wells

When former Liberal premier and Chief Justice Dr. Clyde Wells, BA’59, Honorary LLD ’96, agreed to chair the province’s first Independent Appointments Commission in 2016, he was focused on inspiring others to consider public service.

If the goal is to lead by example, there may not be a better representative in Newfoundland and Labrador. His life in politics began as a MHA in Premier Smallwood’s cabinet in 1966, a start that eventually saw Dr. Wells become the fifth Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador in 1989.

Alumni spotlight: Michelle Saunders

As the Labrador Institute’s 2019 International Indigenous Intern, Michelle Saunders is creating new ways to incorporate her heritage into her future career and sharing her experiences with the Indigenous youth of Labrador.



Alumni spotlight: Chris Shortall

Chris Shortall is setting his research in motion.

Born and raised in St. John’s, Mr. Shortall graduated from Acadia in 2002 with a B.Sc.(Hons.) in psychology and sociology before coming to Memorial University to complete a master of science in medicine (applied health services research).

This program focuses on solving complex health policy issues in our communities. Mr. Shortall selected sexuality, gender identity and LGBTQI2S health and wellness, for his area of interest.

For the love of Labrador

Carolyn Rompkey, along with her children Peter and Hilary, created the Honourable Dr. William Rompkey Memorial Scholarship in 2017 to remember her late husband.

It’s a scholarship created in the spirit of two things that have defined their family: Labrador and higher education.

The gift of science

Dr. Seán Brosnan is retiring after 46 years with the Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science.

Widely respected by students and faculty alike, Dr. Brosnan has cemented his legacy as a researcher and educator. But, he has decided to take it a step further. 

Dr. Brosnan is donating the majority of the lump-sum severance payment provided through Memorial’s Voluntary Retirement Program to create the Brosnan Lecture in Biochemistry Endowment Fund.


GivingTuesday 2018

It is three days until Black Friday, six days until Cyber Monday and seven days until GivingTuesday.

While you are undoubtedly familiar with the first two days on that list, you may not be as familiar with the global day of giving. Luckily, the student callers with the Office of Development at Memorial University are.


Aspiring astronaut

This month, Bethany Downer, B.Sc.’16, will take another step toward realizing her dream of becoming an astronaut.

After completing her degree at Memorial, Ms. Downer was one of only 40 people selected worldwide to complete her master of science in space studies from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France.

A force to be reckoned with

Anyone who meets Cyril Goodyear is surprised when they learn that the vibrant man is 93 years old.

An outspoken and energetic outdoorsman, he has dedicated the majority of his life to supporting the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. A natural storyteller and the author of several books, Mr. Goodyear shares a lifetime of memories, coloured with his wicked sense of humour.

Awarding excellence

Serial entrepreneur. Education advocate. Aspiring astronaut. Lifelong leader.

Memorial University has announced the recipients of its 37th annual Alumni Tribute Awards, recognizing alumni who have achieved distinction in their chosen fields, are committed to their alma mater and made outstanding contributions to their communities.


Staying the course

Lt.-Cmdr. Anthony Green Ayre dedicated his life to land, sea and business in Newfoundland and Labrador. At Memorial University, he is best known for his generosity and dedication to education.


For the love of dogs

Ken Reid’s life has gone to the dogs. And he wouldn’t have it any other way.

After completing his social work degree at Memorial in 1998, he embarked on a 16-year career as a child protective services (CPS) worker in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. He looks back fondly at that experience, one he credits with shaping his life and paving the way to his second career – as Newfoundland’s very own dog whisperer.

Athlete. Academic. Community leader.

The past five years at Memorial University have been Claire Skanes’ time to shine – but it hasn’t come easy. The newly-minted engineering graduate and Sea-Hawks standout takes her place among Memorial’s class of 2018 thanks to incredible perseverance and a tremendous amount of hard work, plus a helping hand.


Remembering Brendan

Kim Kelly, BA’92, BSW’02, M.Ed.’08, believes that the best way to remember a loved one you’ve lost is to say their name and to keep the best qualities of that person alive.

The compassionate constable

Q&A with alumna of Memorial's first police studies' graduating class

Cst. Lindsay Dillon grew up in Conception Bay South, N.L., and today she protects the same streets she played on as a child.

Making peace

A Q&A with N.L.’s first Rotary International Peace Fellow

Holly White, BA’05, Dip. in ESL’05, M.Ed.’15, sees hope when others focus on despair.

It’s an essential perspective when your passion is working in a field that combats global violence and discrimination.

In 2016 Ms. White was one of only 50 successful applicants from all over the globe named to the highly respected global peace program sponsored by Rotary International. She’s back home in N.L. after an intense 15 months that included academic work and a field placement in Istanbul, Turkey.


Rising above

Adrianna Warren is only in her second year at Memorial University, but she’s already encountered a great deal of adversity in her life. Thanks to a strong work ethic, positive attitude and the help of the Joyce Family Foundation Bursary, Ms. Warren is rising above that adversity and exploring opportunities that she once believed were out of reach.


The gift that keeps on giving

The Skinners were a quiet couple but their generosity knew no bounds. Married for 64 years, Edith and Robert Skinner spent most of their married life in Pasadena on the west coast of Newfoundland, where they successfully operated the Lakeland Lodge and Motel, as well as hunting and fishing camps in Labrador.

Generations of Memorial University students and researchers will benefit from the legacy established by the Skinners.

Running with the Hare

Alumnus Rex Brown on Atlantic Canada's largest poetry festival and why 2018 marks the final curtain call

Finding harmony

From the darkness of the Second World War to a legacy of music and fellowship


Giving and receiving

Fighting for each other: Descendants of the Regiment complete the circle

Coming back to Curtis

A Q&A with the alumnae behind the Curtis House 50-year reunion.

Memorial’s campus has changed significantly over the past 50 years, but the camaraderie and sense of community remain the same.



Just Be Gemma

Gemma Hickey, BA’03, a well-known activist in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, received a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for their contribution to LBGTQ rights in Canada and, more recently, the 2016 Human Rights Champion Award by the Human Rights Commission.



Chandra Kavanagh, BA(hons.)’12, credits Memorial University with not only introducing her to the world of feminist thought and activism, but also continuing to support her in her career path.

Leaving a legacy

Dr. Angus Neary was an accomplished surgeon and compassionate man who showed great care and interest in his patients.

GivingTuesday 2017

With the holiday season quickly approaching, what better time to practice, “T’is better to give than to receive?” For the third consecutive year, Memorial University is celebrating GivingTuesday. 


Fortis Inc. pays tribute to Dr. Angus Bruneau through continued support of teaching technology and modern learning facilities at Memorial

Today Memorial announced a generous $200,000 donation from Fortis Inc. used to modernize the primary lecture theatre in the Engineering building on Memorial University’s St. John’s campus.

Growing up Muslim in N.L.

Q&A with alumnus Aatif Baskanderi

Rural Newfoundland and Labrador is not normally known for its diversity.

However, one man who grew up as a Muslim in Clarenville, N.L., credits the community for a fantastic, inclusive childhood that helped him become the successful innovator he is today.



Memorial champion

Q&A with Tribute Award recipient Gary Follett

Gary Follett, B.Eng.’75, believes that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

His philosophy is Memorial’s gain as he has given both time and resources back to the university for more than four decades.


Community builder

Q&A with Tribute Award recipient Darlene Spracklin-Reid

When disaster strikes, Darlene Spracklin-Reid brings together a community to rebuild, all while giving students hands-on learning experience and inspiring the next generation of volunteers.


Amazing alumni

Technology trailblazer. Memorial champion. Opera star. Community builder.

Memorial University is proud to announce the recipients of its 36th annual Alumni Tribute Awards, recognizing alumni who have achieved distinction in their chosen fields, are committed to their alma mater, and made outstanding contributions to their communities.

The 2017 recipients are Catherine Courage, B.Sc.(Hons.)’97, Gary Follett, B.Eng.’75, Dr. David Kelleher-Flight, B.Mus.’04 and Darlene Spracklin-Reid, B.Eng.’95, B.Ed.’04.

HSS Alumnus of the Month - David Cochrane

David Cochrane is a senior reporter with the CBC’s Parliamentary Bureau in Ottawa. Before relocating to Ottawa he spent nearly 20 years in St. John’s as the CBC’s Provincial Affairs reporter. David graduated from Memorial University in 1997 with a double major in English and history. He was the news editor of The Muse from 1995-1997.


Results are in

The 2017 Board of Regents alumni election results are in.

Memorial’s Offices of Alumni Affairs and Development have confirmed the successful candidates for the six elected alumni positions on the board, and they include two continuing representatives, three new and one returning. They will begin their three-year term on Sept. 1, 2017.


The tool library: Engineering alumnus opening community tool-lending service

The son of a construction entrepreneur, Ian Froude, B.Eng.’10, has a natural inclination towards big ideas and hard work.

Come From Away: A Q&A with alumnus Romano Di Nillo

From Newfoundland and Labrador to New York.

Romano Di Nillo, B.Mus.’96, is the perfect fit for Come From Away. A School of Music graduate, Mr. Di Nillo has played for millions of people across North America during a career that’s taken him from St. John’s to Broadway.


A reason to smile

Memorial alum, Dr. Christopher Patey (BSc (Hon) MD CCFP FCFP) has a lot on his plate. Aside from a busy family life with three young kids, Dr. Patey is the site clinical chief of Emergency in the Carbonear Emergency Department, a part time rural family physician at the Baccalieu Trail Clinic, and a selectives coordinator and clinicial assistant professor with the Disciplines of Emergency Medicine and Family Medicine. But he still found time to give.



This is my story...Jessica, BA '16

Thanks to you, I see amazing possibilities before me. 

Your decision to support Memorial will change lives. It has definitely changed mine. I know that by studying and working hard, my success is also your success.

The Giving Tree

For the second year, Memorial University is participating in GivingTuesday, a day of giving celebrated around the world. GivingTuesday takes place on Nov. 29 this year and encourages people to support causes they care about by giving a charitable donation or offering their time as a volunteer.


Taking Action

Carl Mercer, BA’05, may have grown up in a small town, but his ambition and interest in human rights issues have taken him around the world.

Mr. Mercer came to Memorial with his sights set on becoming a lawyer, but one course in the Department of Political Science changed the trajectory of his career. Now living in New York City, he works with the United Nations supporting communications in the areas of climate change and disaster risk reduction. 




Soccer star alum Trent McClellan scores big with comedy show

Aerospace entrepreneur

Mark Dobbin grew up surrounded by business.

During a career spanning three decades, he has played an integral role in stimulating the economic, cultural and social prosperity of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Memorial ambassador

Karl Smith is trying to give Memorial University as much as it has given him – and he’s doing a fantastic job.

He’s had a lifelong volunteer relationship with Memorial. Included among numerous examples are Mr. Smith’s contributions as a member of the Faculty of Business Advisory Board for over a decade as well as his work as a member of the Advisory Board’s Resource Committee. In addition, he was instrumental in the growth of Memorial’s Calgary Affinity Newfoundland and Labrador Dinner. 



International humanitarian

Helping others isn’t just his career – it’s his calling.

From a young age, Christopher Nolan, BN’08, MN’14,  has felt compelled to give back to his community. Whether it was volunteering at the senior citizens’ home or the local food bank, that work has always been a part of his life. Now a registered nurse employed by the Government of Nunavut, he is the supervisor of a health centre in Hall Beach, a small fly-in community in one of the most remote places in Canada’s Arctic.


Artistic genius

Immortalized in bronze. In his business, Morgan MacDonald, BBA’04, doesn’t have the luxury of do-overs. The bronze sculptor is this year’s recipient of the Alumni Horizon Award for exceptional achievement by a Memorial graduate under the age of 35.  


Paying tribute

Aerospace entrepreneur. Memorial ambassador. Artistic genius. International humanitarian.

Memorial University has announced the recipients of its 35th annual Alumni Tribute Awards, recognizing four outstanding alumni for their career achievements as well as contributions to their communities and alma mater



Spring convocation at Memorial University

Some 2,500 degrees will be awarded to graduating Memorial University students during nine sessions of convocation at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre May 31-June 3.

A complete list of degree recipients can be found here.

Creating a Bright Future

Betty Simms pauses to consider the question.

“Thoughtful,” she responded. “And dedicated.”

She is talking about her late husband, Gary W. Rowe, and her words capture perfectly his approach to life – and the enduring legacy he leaves behind. 



Teaching children the path from the field to the fork key to better health

A PhD student from the Faculty of Medicine says there needs to be a culture shift in how we understand school food. Emily Doyle is examining the school food system in Newfoundland and Labrador thanks to a $40,000 research grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.



Physics scholarship and public lecture named for Reddy family

The Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography is now home to a new annual lecture and undergraduate scholarship.


Indigena founder taking natural skincare business to next level

Lisa Walsh, BA’93, B.Ed.’93, is an entrepreneur, chief formulator, educator, N.L. crusader, beauty expert and alumna. Indigena, the skincare company she started in 2009, is a consequence of that diverse experience and talent.



Newest Luminus magazine takes you around the world

Grab your passport and head around the world with the latest issue of Luminus, Memorial’s alumni magazine.
This issue focuses broadly on the theme of internationalization, an area of strategic importance to Memorial.

Let Me Tell You My Story ... Leanne, Class of '16

I wouldn’t be here at Memorial without your generosity. You make a huge difference in the lives of students like me and I can’t thank you enough for your incredible support!

Alumna expands leadership skills

Transformational. That’s how an employee with the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development sums up her experience as a delegate of the 2015 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference in the wilderness of the Yukon.


Oh yeah! Ottawa Affinity with Allan Hawco a resounding success

It was a sold-out event as almost 300 alumni and friends gathered for Memorial’s 15th Annual Ottawa Affinity Newfoundland and Labrador Dinner on Nov. 26.

Alumnus aims to have an impact on patients and doctors-in-training

As a kid growing up in St. John’s, N.L., Dr. Doug Angel always knew he wanted to be a doctor. Now, the Memorial alumnus — who recently set up practice in the capital city — hopes to have a positive impact on young physicians-in-training.

National long service achievement for business alumna

The top municipal administrator of Canada’s sixth largest city received a big honour when it comes to her line of work.

Frontiers of science: Major coup for HKR alumnus

This fall, a Memorial alumnus was one of only four gradate students in Canada chosen to compete for the graduate award competition at the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology conference, in Hamilton, Ont.

Alumna named Miss N.L. set to inspire others

Alumna Melanie Barnes is savouring the glory of being named Miss Newfoundland and Labrador, a role she hopes will bolster the profile of several volunteer groups and inspire young women to focus on educational goals. 

Q&A with alumnus Dr. Jay Kalra

Recognized in his adopted hometown of Saskatoon as a community builder, social advocate and cultural ambassador Dr. Jawahar (Jay) Kalra, M.Sc.’72, PhD’76, B.Med.Sci.’79, MD’81, can add a new honour to his list of achievements: Outstanding Community Service Award recipient.

Memorial employees make an impact with United Way

In 2015 Memorial University employees contributed almost $30,000 through the annual payroll deduction campaign to support the United Way of Newfoundland and Labrador.


Hockey champs return to campus for 50-year anniversary

Memorial University’s senior Beothuks hockey team is battling the defending champion Guards for the Boyle Trophy in Game 7 of the city championship. You can feel the stands at Memorial Stadium shaking under your feet. That was April 6, 1965.

Special alumni honoured with commemorative golden pins

A ferry ride and a more than 450 kilometres drive didn’t stop Roy Dwyer from proudly coming back to Memorial for a special ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 18.

Q&A with Tribute Award Recipient Dr. Rex Gibbons

Dr. Rex Gibbons, B.Sc.’67, BA(Ed.)’67, M.Sc.’69, is this year’s recipient of the J.D. Eaton Alumni Award for outstanding volunteer contributions to Memorial.

The finest of nights: Alumni and friends celebrate Memorial

Alumni and friends in Halifax and Toronto celebrated their Memorial and East Coast roots during recent events. 

Rocking the house: George Street concert among MUNdays highlights

One of the most versatile bands in St. John’s is headlining this year’s Super TSC Night concert, one of the many events and activities taking place during MUNdays, Memorial’s annual spirit week.


Time master: Alumnus juggles family, career and master's degree

The key to juggling a full-time job, raising a young family and completing a hectic research schedule as part of intense graduate studies is all about striking the right balance, says master’s student -- and alumnus -- Eric Watton.

Graduate student rediscovers history

Two 18th-century cannons precariously perched along the rugged cliffs of Ferryland are just some of the historic gems a Memorial alumnus has rediscovered as part of fieldwork research for his master’s degree.

Alumnus has 'app'-etite for used textbook business

Alumnus Brandon Baird has done something most budding entrepreneurs can only imagine — and he credits his Memorial education with making his dream a reality.


Fabulous four to be honoured

Four exceptional alumni will be honoured for their countless impacts on communities around the globe, individual accomplishments and dedication to their alma mater during a special event on Oct. 19. Tickets are on sale now.

Q&A with alumna Gemma Hickey

It was a journey full of purpose and meaning. Along the way, Faculty of Arts alumna Gemma Hickey, BA’03, witnessed the power of engagement — connecting with people, stopping to listen to their stories and sharing in their emotions. Ms. Hickey just completed her Hope Walk, a more than 900 kilometre, gruelling month-long trek from Port aux Basques to St. John’s.

Alumnus recognized for exemplary nursing

Using his shirt tail, nursing alumnus Stephen Keough gives a trophy he recently accepted from the province’s largest health-care provider a quick polish.

Alumna to be honoured with lifetime achievement award

At first she thought she was being duped but when the news sunk in, her disbelief quickly turned to delight. That’s how Faculty of Arts alumna – and Memorial honorary degree recipient – Dr. Anita Best summed up her reaction to learning she is this year’s recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Arts Society.


Farming a future: Alumna's roots run deep

It’s a little after seven in the morning and alumna Susan Lester greets me at her family-run farm in the west end of St. John’s.

Alumni Spotlight: Bill Hogan

Catching up with alumnus Bill Hogan, B.Ed.’75, is like listening to a verse of the classic Hank Snow song I’ve Been Everywhere. For the past 30 years, Mr. Hogan has been a respected swimming official and volunteer at home and around the world, including this year's Pan Am Games.

Memorial alumni establish feminist art show

When you don’t know all the rules, breaking them is a lot easier. That’s the approach Zaren Healey White and a dedicated group of volunteers took when planning Feminisms (Re)Framed, an art show that took place at Gallery 24 in St. John’s from July 18-19.


Memorial alumni establish feminist art show

When you don’t know all the rules, breaking them is a lot easier.

That’s the approach Zaren Healey White and a dedicated group of volunteers took when planning Feminisms (Re)Framed, an art show happening at Gallery 24 in St. John’s from July 18-19.


Alumi Spotlight: Frank Gogos

Frank Gogos (BA’94) has followed the path of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. His new book is a guide for everyone to take that journey.

Seven decades of student support

After 70 years of supporting female students at home and abroad, a local advocacy group is showing no signs of slowing down. The St. John’s Club of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) is marking its 70th and most significant donation to Memorial – all to foster student success.

Latest Rothermere Fellow announced

It only took alumnus Sean Fleming about two seconds to rip open an envelope containing a letter naming him 2015’s Rothermere Fellow. That was on May 21. The news, he says, is still sinking in.


Alumna named Trudeau scholar

For Erin Aylward, it’s a “game changer.” That’s the Faculty of Arts alumna’s reaction to being named a newly minted Trudeau Foundation ScholarMs. Aylward is one of 16 new scholars named by the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation on June 9.


Transformative gift for medical students

Joseph Otto hopes to eventually pay it forward and help make university a little easier for future Memorial students. The first-year medical student knows first hand how a planned gift can transform a student’s life, turning – what could be for some – the impossible to possible.

Alumnus set to unravel mystery

Alumnus Jeremy Reynolds is looking for help in solving a mystery that may have possible connections to Memorial.

New scholarship set to 'empower' students

A new endowed scholarship at Memorial honours a well-respected business leader in the community. Fortis Inc. has established the scholarship in recognition of H. Stanley Marshall and his significant contribution to the success of the corporation.


Legacy of leadership

Alexander (Sandy) and Blanche Colbourne believed in the power of education. That passion is now being realized through the Colbourne Family Scholarship, a generous gift from the estate of the late couple.



A legacy for science students

Although he never met Dr. Hugh Anderson, science student Brandon Eastman says he is grateful for the legacy the late professor emeritus left at Memorial as part of a bequest totalling more than $1 million.



Parade Street alumni pay it forward

Emily MacIsaac has a lot to be grateful for. The commerce honours student, originally from Stephenville, N.L., has only a few months left before finishing up her degree and has already landed a job after graduation next May. She’s also thankful for the support of a core group of alumni who financially give back to Memorial to help students like her succeed. 


Alumni Engagement

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000