News Release

REF NO.: 18

SUBJECT: Memorial University announces 2013 Alumni Tribute Awards recipients

DATE: September 25, 2013

Memorial University proudly announces the recipients of the 2013 Alumni Tribute Awards. The awards recognize Memorial graduates who have made an outstanding contribution to their professions, communities and to the university.
Brendan John Paddick (B.Comm.(Co-op) ’86), MBA'94 is this year’s Alumnus of the Year award recipient.           
Mr. Paddick is chairman and chief executive officer of Columbus International Inc., a privately held corporation with Newfoundland and Labrador roots. Columbus is a leading provider of wholesale broadband capacity services and retail broadband-enabled services for commercial and retail customers with operations in the Caribbean, Latin America and North American markets. The transformation of the unreliable, disjointed and unorganized Caribbean and Latin telecom industry into the streamlined, efficient and cohesive Columbus network is continuing as Mr. Paddick and his team expand their reach into new geographies and with increased market penetration in existing areas.
Eleanor A. Swanson (M.Ed.’77) is this year’s recipient of the J.D. Eaton Award that recognizes leadership and outstanding contributions to Memorial University. Ms. Swanson’s career with the Department of Health spanned 37 years. Her leadership skills were honed very early in her profession when she was a patrol leader for Girl Guides. Ms. Swanson was twice elected to Memorial’s Board of Regents starting in 2005 and has since been an appointed board member. Throughout her tenure she has served with active distinction, as member and vice-chair, and even as the board representative on Memorial’s very successful Dare To fundraising campaign. She has enhanced the stature, reputation and overall strength of Memorial through her volunteer work with the university as well as other organizations, institutions and the community.
Randy James Murphy (B.Comm.’72) is being recognized with the Alumni Award for Outstanding Community Service. Mr. Murphy has had a tremendous impact on tourism and communities throughout the Avalon region of the province and was the founding member of the East Coast Trail Association, where he served as president for 17 years. Today, East Coast Trail attracts more than 60,000 hiker visits, including local hiking enthusiasts and tourists from around the world. The trail has been recognized by National Geographic on two occasions: in 2010 the magazine ranked the Avalon Peninsula as the world’s No.1 coastal destination. In 2012 the publication identified the East Coast Trail as one of the top 10 adventure destinations in the world.
Francis (Frank) Perry Durnford (BA(Hons.)’03) will receive the Horizon Award, recognizing exceptional achievement by alumni under the age of 35. Upon graduation from Memorial’s Faculty of Arts, Mr. Durnford continued his law studies at the Dalhousie Law School, and is currently employed with Enbridge Pipelines. Mr. Durnford contributed to the community by chairing a United Way campaign for two years and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity initiatives. He is now the executive director of the non-profit group energy4everyone Foundation, whose mission is to alleviate poverty through increasing access to energy in developing countries. Mr. Durnford runs projects in Peru, Ghana and Tanzania, which give him the opportunity to experience first-hand the value of energy and the importance of corporate social responsibility.
“We’ve had many outstanding nominees this year,” said Brian King, chair of the Alumni Tribute Awards. “These individuals have given their time and passion to their communities and have made an exceptional impact on the lives of many people here at home and as far away at the Caribbean. I offer sincere congratulations to these outstanding individuals.”
The 32nd annual Alumni Tribute Awards ceremony will take place on Monday, Oct. 21, at 6 p.m. at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland in St. John’s.To purchase tickets, please call the office of Alumni Affairs and Development at 1-877-700-4081 or email rsvpalumni@mun.ca. Tickets are $125 per person and are available in advance only.

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