News Release

REF NO.: 15

SUBJECT: Outstanding alumni to be honoured at annual awards ceremony

DATE: September 27, 2010

Memorial University’s Alumni Association will once again celebrate the achievements of some of its most accomplished members at the 29th Annual Alumni Tribute Awards next month. 
“The Alumni Tribute Awards provide an opportunity to pause and recognize the remarkable achievements of people who once called Memorial home, and who still maintain a strong connection to the University,” said Brian King (B.Comm.’93, MBA’97), Chair of the 2010 Alumni Tribute Awards Selection Committee. “This year’s recipients are truly exceptional alumni who have made an extraordinary contribution to their professions, communities, and to Memorial.” 
Dr. Max House is among this year’s honourees. A graduate of Memorial University College in 1947, Dr. House will receive the Alumnus of the Year Award. He has held various roles within the medical community, including chief of neurology at the General Hospital. He was actively involved in establishing the medical school at the university, and also founded the Telemedicine Centre at Memorial in 1976, which was instrumental in bringing health education to rural communities through information technology and distance education. In 1999, Memorial awarded Dr. House an honorary doctor of letters, and in 2003, he received the distinction professor emeritus. Dr. House served as the 10th Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador from 1997 to 2002.
“Dr. House has dedicated his life to ensuring the accessibility of health and education services to people throughout the province and abroad,” said Mr. King. “Our committee could not imagine a more deserving recipient for Alumnus of the Year.”
Environmental advocate Leonard Vassallo (B.Voc.Ed.’99, M.Sc.’80), who has served in various roles with the Western Environment Centre, Grenfell College Principal's Advisory Committee on Sustainability (PACS) and Western Health's Green Committee, is the recipient of the Outstanding Community Service Award. Vanessa Donnelly (BA’99, BN’00), diabetes case management specialist with Capital Health in Nova Scotia, is this year’s Horizon Award recipient. The award recognizes extraordinary achievements of Memorial alumni under the age of 35. In addition to an impressive list of academic achievements, Ms. Donnelly volunteers in the poorest regions of Africa to teach diabetes education and awareness. 
“Both Mr. Vassallo and Ms. Donnelly are model examples of Memorial alumni who dedicate their lives to the advancement of local and global communities,” noted Mr. King. “Mr. Vassallo’s dedication to conserving our environment through sustainability initiatives has had a significant impact in Western Newfoundland, and Ms. Donnelly’s commitment to transferring vital health knowledge to third world countries is commendable.”
The recipient of the J.D. Eaton Alumni Award, which recognizes an outstanding contribution to the University, is Gary Peddle (B.Comm.(Hons.)’82, MBA’85). Mr. Peddle is the managing director of Benson Myles Barristers and Solicitors in St. John’s, and past president of the Memorial University Alumni          
Association. He also served on Memorial’s Board of Regents. In addition to his active volunteerism at Memorial, Mr. Peddle has volunteered hundreds of hours for non-profit organizations both locally and nationally. 
“During his time as a student at Memorial, Gary was named class president – marking the beginning of his lifelong commitment to the university,” said Mr. King. “Gary is a very busy man but he has always seen the value in giving back to the community, and specifically, his alma mater. His dedication to Memorial is unprecedented.”
The 29th Annual Alumni Tribute Awards will take place on Oct. 18 at Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland in St. John’s. To purchase tickets, and to learn more about this year’s recipients, please visit www.munalum.ca, or call the Office of Alumni Affairs and Development at (709) 737-2313.

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