Alumni Achievement Award

Gala Award

The Alumni Achievement Award is the highest honour presented by the Queen’s University Alumni Association. Each year, the award is presented to an alumnus/alumna who has demonstrated the values of Queen’s University through significant lifetime contributions to one or more of the following: the arts or sciences; public service; leadership in business, industry, or a profession; community, charitable, or volunteer work.


Hugh Christie

2020 Recipient

Hugh Christie

Artsci'78, Law'81

Hugh Christie is being recognized for his lifetime contributions to the legal profession and helping to raise the profile of labour and employment law in Canada. Despite his busy role as the managing partner of Ogletree Deakins in Toronto, he prioritizes mentoring young lawyers, giving back to the community, supporting Queen’s, and volunteering for organizations such as the George Hull Center for Children and Families Foundation.

Hugh is the co-chair of Queen's Centre for Law in the Contemporary Workplace, (CLCW) where his leadership in the Advisory Committee has played an instrumental role in its success. The first of its kind in Canada, CLCW brings together leading academics, policy makers, and lawyers from across the country to address pressing issues in workplace law.


Past Award Recipients

Trailblazing demands courage, aplomb, and resiliency and Dr. Marlene Brant Castellano, is a trailblazer. By the time she had retired in 1996 from an illustrious career, Dr. Castellano had established a body of work that blazed the path for the careers of future Aboriginal scholars. Through the power of example and commitment, she has increased the presence of Aboriginal curriculum, knowledge, and students on campuses in Canada and the United States. Her expertise in Aboriginal education, family and mental health, social services, women’s perspectives, and Indigenous knowledge and research is sought by universities and community organizations in Canada and around the world.

A Mohawk, Wolf clan and member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte Band, Dr. Castellano has built a bridge between cultures, working throughout her life for the rights and well-being of Indigenous peoples. During the 1970s at Trent University, she was instrumental in establishing Native/Indigenous Studies as an academic discipline. She promoted community-based research, which became central to the work of the influential Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, on which she served as Research Co-director.

Dr. Castellano served on the steering committee to develop the Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) at Queen’s from 1988-1990, and has been the Elder and Co-chair of the Aboriginal Council of Queen’s University since 2011. One of Queen’s newest residences, Brant House, is named in recognition of Marlene and her brother Clare Clifton Brant, both Queen’s alumni.

The Chair of the Initiative Campaign, Dr. Gord Nixon, Com’79, LLD’03, is receiving the Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honour bestowed by the Alumni Association. The former Royal Bank of Canada CEO and Gaels rugby player has a long history of volunteering and supporting his alma mater. Dr. Nixon and wife, Janet, recently made a significant gift to Queen’s in support of the revitalization of the campus rugby field, which is now named Nixon Field.

No matter what Shirley Tilghman, Arts’68, DSc’02, decides to do, be it a scientist, university president, colleague, mentor, or mother, she does it with passion and enthusiasm, and always with a strong social conscience. Dr. Tilghman is renowned not only for her pioneering research in the field of molecular biology, but for her national leadership on behalf of women in science and for promoting efforts to make the early careers of young scientists as meaningful and productive as possible.

She received national attention for a report on "Trends in the Careers of Life Scientists" that was issued in 1998 by a committee she chaired for the National Research Council. Dr. Tilghman has helped launch the careers of many scholars as a member of the Pew Charitable Trusts Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences Selection Committee and the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust Scholar Selection Committee.

Dr. Tilghman was elected Princeton’s 19th president in 2001, a successful tenure that went until 2013. Her presidency very much reflected her own values when early in her tenure, she said she wanted to “open the doors as wide as possible to every talented student in the world … and push the frontiers of knowledge, and not just in science and technology, but in social policy, and in public policy, and in understanding the nature of the human condition." In 2002, Dr. Tilghman was named one of five winners of the L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science, and the following year received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Developmental Biology.

Dr. Tilghman is a member of the American Philosophical Society, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the Royal Society of London. She serves as a Trustee of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Amherst College, and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and as a Director of Google Inc. In addition, Dr. Tilghman was elected to serve as President of the American Society for Cell Biology in 2015, and was elected to the Commission on Presidential Debates Board of Directors, a nonprofit established in 1987 that organizes debates during the US general elections.

Dr. Tilghman was honoured at the QUAA Alumni Awards Gala on April 2, 2016.

As a young boy, Dr. Andrew Feustel figured by the time he was an adult, everyone would be an astronaut, believing that space travel would be commonplace. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, but Dr. Feustel did become an astronaut, even if the rest of us did not.

After earning a Bachelor of Science in Solid Earth Sciences in 1989 from Purdue University, Dr. Feustel attended graduate school where he simultaneously worked as a Research Assistant and Teaching Assistant while obtaining a Master of Science in Geophysics.

In 1991 Dr. Feustel came to Queen’s where he received his PhD in Geological Sciences in 1995. His thesis explored seismic waves in underground mines, and he spent the next three years working as a geophysicist for the Engineering Seismology Group and for the Exxon Exploration Company.

In July 2000, Dr. Feustel’s dream of space travel became a reality. His first flight to space was aboard space shuttle Atlantis for the STS-125 mission. Launching May 11, 2009 the successful mission repaired the Hubble Space Telescope. During the mission he served as the Mission Specialist and performed three spacewalks before the mission safely returned to Earth. His second flight to space was in 2011 on STS-134. During the near month-long mission, in which Dr. Feustel performed three spacewalks, the crew delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and an Express Logistics Carrier to the International Space Station.

Today, Dr. Feustel works on technical support assignments at the Astronaut Office Space Shuttle and Space Stations branches. He is married to Indira Devi Bhatnagar and together they have two children. He also plays guitar and is a member of the astronaut band Max Q. His contributions to geological study and incredible work with NASA to date, is truly deserving of this year’s Alumni Achievement Award.

Dr. Feustel was honoured at the QUAA Alumni Awards Gala on March 28, 2015.

2014 Alfred Bader, BSc’45, BA’46, MSc’47, LLD’86 (deceased) and Isabel Bader, LLD'07

2012 His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Law'66, LLD'91

2011 Peter Milliken, Arts'68, LLD’12

2010 Ali Velshi, Artsci'94, LLD’16

2009 Linda Locke, Law'84

2008 Harold Jennings, MSc'61, PhD'64

2007 Ronald McCallum, LLM'74, LLD’16

2006 Frank Newell, Meds'46

2005 Virginia (Ginny) Shrivastava, Arts'63

2004 Kim Sturgess, Sc'77, DSc’16

2003 Mary Card, Arts'69

2002 Maynard Gertler, BA 1939 (deceased)

2001 Eldon Hay, MA’57, BDiv’57, DDiv’04 (deceased)

2000 Moira Hutchinson, Arts'64, MA'68

1999 Mary Collins, Arts'61

1998 John Matheson, BA’40, LLD’84 (deceased)

1997 Anthony Graham, Meds'66

1996 Kenneth Dresser, MD’56 (deceased)

1995 Ramsey Withers, Sc’54 (deceased)

1994 Adrienne Alison, BA’76 (deceased)

1993 Freda Paltiel, BA’45 (deceased)

1992 -Bruce Cronk, MD’46 (deceased)

1991 Frances Lester, Meds'66

1990 Ethel Moncrief Birkenshaw, Arts'48

1989 Herman Voaden, BA’23, MA’26 (deceased)

1987 Elisabeth Oughton, Arts'59

1986 Ernest Johnson, MD’38 (deceased)

Award Eligibility & Criteria

Candidates should be:

  • A Queen’s alumnus/alumna
  • Someone who has accomplished a lifetime of contributions and achievement in one or more of the following: the arts or sciences; public service; leadership in business, industry, or a profession; community, charitable, or volunteer work
  • A contributor to society on a regional, national or international level
  • Recognized within her/his community or field as a leader
  • An inspiration to the Queen’s community

For more information about alumni awards, please contact Lenore Klein, 613-533-6000 ext 78846.