From the group of visionary citizens who created a college on Ottawa’s First Avenue in 1942 to today’s dynamic community of faculty, staff, students and alumni, Carleton has always been defined by its people.
So it was fitting that the university launched the second phase of its public awareness campaign leading up to the university’s 75th anniversary by celebrating the accomplishments of alumni, students and supporters at the Carleton Leadership Gala on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015.
With large portraits showcasing some of the amazing people who have called Carleton home over the years, and a dedicated website at carleton.ca/cu75, the awareness campaign highlights the diverse ways in which the university’s representatives have shaped the worlds of science, business, culture, sport, health care, the humanities and government – in Canada and beyond.
“As graduates, we feel the impact of our Carleton education every day, but as citizens we feel it even more,” said Jay Nordenstrom, president of the university’s alumni association and the event’s emcee.
“Because of your good work, our society is better. We have healthier neighbourhoods, better opportunities for our children, great art and music, good public policy, great technology and medicine, and so much more.”
Banners featuring people celebrated in the second stage of the campaign were unveiled on Saturday: Privy Council Clerk Janice Charette, singer and radio host Julie Nesrallah, Secretary of the Treasury Board Yaprak Baltacıoğlu, Google adviser Shona Brown, Vanier scholar and Pan Am medallist, Melissa Armstrong, Olympian Waneek Horn-Miller, pioneer plant biologist Margaret McCully, entrepreneur John Ruddy and student entrepreneur Melissa Vong.
“Thank you all for being living proof that university works and that it is important,” said President Roseann O’Reilly Runte.
Carleton was created to help change and improve Ottawa, the country and the world, said Dr. Runte, noting that the student population has soared and the university long ago outgrew its original campus.
“Some of you might feel a little lost, but you shouldn’t. While we’ve built a few new buildings, the community hasn’t changed. You are all part of an incredibly strong tradition.”
Three alumni award winners were also honoured at the gala. Jagmohan Humar, a distinguished research professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the research-intensive Faculty of Engineering and Design, received the A.D. Dunton Alumni Award of Distinction. Humar is known for his philanthropy and community service; an endowment fund in his name supports an annual scholarship for an outstanding graduate student in civil and environmental engineering.
Erica Cherney, who graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1952, received the Humanitarian Award for her contributions to business, economic development, the arts, education, philanthropy, health care, human rights and community building.
Eric Chan, a 2008 graduate of the Interactive Multimedia and Design program, received the Young Alumni Achievement Award. Chan, who works under the name eepmon, melds digital and manual processes as an artist-programmer working in Brooklyn, Tokyo, Ottawa and Toronto.