Order Of Canada Honours Five Alumni And One Professor

Prof. Art McDonald with Principal Daniel Woolf
Art McDonald (left) with Principal Daniel Woolf

Human rights lawyer Fiona Sampson, Artsci’85, LLB’93, loves to fight for the under privileged – First Nations, refugees, the physically challenged, and particularly women and girls in Africa.

Ms. Sampson feels being named to the Order of Canada is a “wonderful endorsement” of the work she does with equality effect, the organization she founded in 2008 that uses international human rights laws to help women and girls around the world.

“I feel very fortunate that I get to do such rewarding work that it never feels like work.  Receiving the Order of Canada for the human rights work I do does feel like icing on the cake, and it’s pretty delicious,” says Ms. Sampson, who will also be honoured with the Alumni Humanitarian Award at the QUAA Awards Gala on April 2 in Kingston.

[Fiona Sampson]Ms. Sampson is one of five Queen’s alumni – and one professor – who have been named or promoted to the Order of Canada. Historian Laura Brandon, MA’92, is being recognized for her contributions to Canadian war art. The recognition comes as the art history grad prepares to retire from her job at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa after 22 years of service. In a recent profile in the Ottawa Citizen, the newspaper wrote that “Brandon’s arrival in Ottawa was a life-changing experience for Canada’s war art collection.”

Alberta WaterSMART CEO Kim Sturgess, Sc’77, is being honoured for her contributions to water stewardship and the advancement of women in engineering. She is actively involved with many charities and non-profits including Queen’s. Ms. Sturgess has hosted a popular annual Queen’s alumni dinner in Calgary for the past 25 years. She received the Alumni Achievement Award – the highest honour bestowed by the Queen’s University Alumni Association – in 2004.

Dalhousie University Professor Emeritus Frederic Wien, Arts’66, is being honored for his work supporting Indigenous populations in Atlantic Canada. Between 1992 and 1996, he served as the Deputy Director of Research at the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and is a member of the Make Poverty History Expert Advisory Committee serving the Assembly of First Nations.

Julie Dickson, who has a Master’s of economics degree from Queen’s, is a member of the Supervisory Board with the European Central Bank. The 1981 grad is being honoured for her leadership in the development of financial regulation in Canada and around the world.

Queen’s Professor Arthur McDonald has been promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada which “recognizes national pre-eminence or international service or achievement.” It has been an amazing few months for Dr. McDonald. In October, he was named the co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics for his research at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory into neutrino oscillations. A few weeks later, he was one of the winners of the $3-million Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

The Order of Canada is Canada's highest civilian honour and recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to Canada. Former Member of Parliament and alumnus John Matheson, Arts'40, LLD'84, helped established the Order of Canada in 1967. Mr. Matheson, who passed away in 2013, said the Order of Canada was modelled after the Queen’s Tricolour Society (now known as the Anges Benidickson Tricolour Award) which honours the university’s top students annually.

Congratulations to these five alumni on the honour and thank you for showing that Queen’s is a place that helps develop the future leaders of Canada.