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Queen's University

Mike Rose and Susan Riddell Rose win 2013 Johnson Award

Mike Rose, Artsci'79, and Susan Riddell Rose, Sc’86, like to help children reach their full potential.

It’s the general theme of the couple’s charity work and volunteerism, which includes working with Queen’s University, UNICEF Canada, Alberta Children’s Hospital, United Way of Calgary, and the Premier’s Council for Alberta’s Promise, as well as coaching youth baseball and hockey.

[Sue Riddell Rose, Mike Rose]"We focus on youth, education, health, and sports,” says Sue. “There are an infinite number of organizations that need funding, all of which are extremely important. Queen’s fits in on the education part."

It’s their commitment to Queen’s and the Calgary community, as well as their distinguished careers in the oil and gas sector, that make them this year’s recipients of the Johnson Award. It’s the highest honour bestowed by the Queen’s University Alumni Association’s Calgary Branch and is named after Ernie and Edna Johnson, whose generosity and dedication to their alma mater and city spanned more than 30 years.

“We are surprised and honoured to be getting the award,” says Mike.

Mike, who studied geology at Queen’s, started several successful oil and gas companies, including Berkley Petroleum and Duvernay Oil Corp., which was sold to Shell Canada in 2008. He then went on to start up Tourmaline Oil Corp., where he is President and CEO.

Sue, who studied geological engineering at Queen’s, is the president and CEO of Perpetual Energy Inc., as well as a director and member of the board for several other oil and gas companies.

Mike and Sue went to Queen’s at different times and met when they worked together at Shell Canada. Both value their Queen’s student experience. 

“We made some of our best, lifelong friends while at university. I still have tons of vivid, fun memories. Attending Queen’s was one of the highlights of my development,” says Mike.

They’ve continued their Queen’s experience through active involvement with the Calgary Branch.  They sponsor numerous local events in Calgary and also return to Kingston to talk to students at the annual oil and gas speaker series at Queen’s hosted by the department of Chemical Engineering. Susan’s  company, Perpetual Energy, provides office space for the  Queen's Western Canada Office and hosts alumni functions and executive meetings in its boardrooms. 

“Mike and Sue are the most generous alumni we have in Calgary. Their support is fantastic and I can’t say enough for all they do,” says Calgary Branch President Jeremy Mosher.

Despite busy careers and raising three boys, the pair believe it is important to find the time to volunteer and invest in Queen’s and the Calgary community.

“Mike and I have a full life. We have each other, a wonderful family, many friends and colleagues and enriching and challenging careers. We are blessed to know many wonderful people and be a part of solutions in the community,” says Sue. “Charitable work is something we have found really rewarding. It’s always been a part of us. Mike and I like to do what we think is the right thing. Kids are the future and that’s where we can really make an impact."

Mike and Sue will receive the Johnson Award during an awards ceremony on November 14. 

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