Celebrating Queen’s alumni and volunteers
April 7, 2015
On the last weekend in March the Queen’s University Alumni Association celebrated the efforts and achievements of exceptional alumni and volunteers in the Queen’s community.
The weekend-long series of events included the Alumni Volunteer Summit, a talk from NASA astronaut Andrew Feustel (PhD’95), the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Awards with the induction of seven new members into the Tricolour Society and culminated with the gala evening for the QUAA Alumni Awards.
“It is an honour to sit amongst some of the most notable members of the Queen’s family and to recognize their achievements,” said QUAA President and host of the Alumni Awards, George M. Jackson (Artsci’85). “Without a doubt, our university is what is it is today because of those who have given as students, and continue to do so as alumni.”
Chancellor Jim Leech (MBA’73) shared with Mr. Jackson the honour of hosting and presenting the awards to 11 recipients. The two presenters traded anecdotes about their social media habits during the presentation.
Among the recipients this year were Catherine Donnelly, (Rehab’95, PhD’13), who was presented with the Alumni Award for Excellence in Teaching, and Dr. Feustel, who received the Alumni Achievement Award. All recipients spoke highly of their experiences as students at Queen’s but none captured the audience’s attention like Alumni Mentorship Award recipient Troy McAllister (Artsci/PHE’03).
During Mr. McAllister’s acceptance speech, the grand atrium of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts became an intimate setting as he explained his work with the students at Wendell Phillips Academy, on Chicago’s troubled South Side. The epitome of Queen’s leadership, the former Gaels player and coach has helped transform Wendell Phillips, a school that was destined for closure, by being a positive role model for his students, who struggle with poverty and violence every day. His leadership has also transformed the school’s football program, leading his team of young men to compete in the state football championship – a first in the school’s 109-year history.
As Mr. McAllister made his way down from the podium, the Isabel erupted with an outpouring of applause. The standing ovation was an expression of pride and appreciation from the Queen’s community and friends, for the hard work and dedication that alumni like Mr. McAllister bring to everything they do.
The complete list of QUAA Alumni Award recipients.
See this year’s recipients of the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award.