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Awards gala celebrates alumni

[QUAA Awards Gala]
Queen's University Alumni Association hosted its annual awards gala on Saturday, April, 2. Front, from left: Fiona Sampson (Artsci’86, Law’93); Taylor Jennings (Artsci’15); Michele Romanow (Sc’07, MBA’08); Jacqueline Davies (Artsci’83, MA’85, PhD’97);  Lee Wetherall (Ed'76, MBA'82); and Zhaodi Culbreath (Sc’08). Back, from left: George Jackson (Artsci’85); Michelle Rowland (Artsci'16); Shirley Tilghman (Arts’68, DSc’02); Principal Daniel Woolf; Sue Bates, QUAA President; Adam Shetler (Sc'08); and Bruce Alexander (Com’60, LLD’11). (Photo by Stephen Wild)

The first female president of Princeton University, a dragon from CBC TV’s “Dragons' Den,” and an internationally-renowned human rights lawyer were among those honoured Saturday, April 2 at the Queen’s University Alumni Association (QUAA) Awards Gala.

Shirley Tilghman (Arts’68, DSc’02) received the Alumni Achievement Award – the highest honour bestowed by the QUAA. She was named the first female president of Princeton University in 2001 and served until the end of the 2012-13 academic year. She is also an exceptional teacher and leading molecular biology scholar involved with the groundbreaking Human Genome Project.

“My four years at Queen’s were glorious. The wonderful opportunities that the faculty in the Department of Chemistry afforded me to experience what it means to do research – as opposed to reading about it – are responsible for my becoming a scientist,” Dr. Tilghman says. “The generous mentorship and encouragement at a time when few women were entering careers in science made all the difference in the world and my future.”

Fiona Sampson (Artsci’86, Law’93) was the recipient the Alumni Humanitarian Award. The Human rights lawyer based in Toronto has spent decades fighting for marginalized people. The 160 Girls project was a landmark victory in Kenya in which the country’s High Court found the state’s failure to protect girls from rape was unconstitutional and violated their human rights. Ms. Sampson was named one of the top 25 most influential lawyers by Canadian Lawyer Magazine in 2014.

Dragons’ Den panelist Michele Romanow (Sc’07, MBA’08) received the One-To-Watch Award. She showed her entrepreneurial spirit while at Queen’s as the founder of the Tea Room, located in Beamish-Munro Hall, in 2006. By the age of 30, she had started four successful businesses, including Buytopia.ca and SnapSaves, which was purchased by the popular online social-buying application, Groupon in 2014.

“The Awards Gala gives the QUAA an opportunity to celebrate some of our finest alumni,” says incoming QUAA President Sue Bates (Artsci’91). “Some of these award recipients have worked tirelessly to support their alma mater while others have achieved national and international acclaim. They all deserve to be recognized and celebrated.”

Other alumni awards handed out at the Awards Gala include:

View more photos from the event.