2023 Honouree - Brent Lewis
“Our community has been blessed because Brent Lewis lived here and left a mark on our hearts.” – Susan Myers.
This year, we honour and celebrate the life of Brent Lewis- a life marked by compassion, dedication, and a deep love for our community. Born in Thessalon and eventually settling in Sault Ste. Marie, Brent’s journey began in small towns along the north shore as his parents, Maitland and Kathryn, built their business in the automotive industry.
Brent’s thirst for knowledge and diverse experiences shaped him into an individual of immense wisdom and character. In 1982, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Laurentian University’s Algoma Campus. His love for his country led him to join the reserve militia with the Canadian Armed Forces, achieving the rank of second lieutenant in 1983.Buy Tickets
Brent then joined the family automotive business where he was later joined by his sister, Judith and his wife Vicki. His astute business acumen led him to play a pivotal role in expanding the business from a Honda dealership to a larger Ford and Lincoln dealership in 1984. Education remained a constant pursuit for Brent, as he completed his Masters in Business Administration at Lake Superior State University in 1988. While building a successful career, Brent earned a reputation as a genuine, soft-spoken man of integrity. Countless stories have emerged of how he went above and beyond to help others, guiding them through the process of purchasing their first vehicle.
Within the staff of Maitland Ford Lincoln, Brent found not only coworkers but lifelong friends and a second family. Under his leadership, they forged a dealership that stood as a beacon of community involvement and support. Through their sponsorship of Drive One Events, the dealership supported organizations such as ARCH, Sault Area Hospital, Algoma Conservatory, Superior Heights, and numerous local schools, sports teams, and community initiatives. Brent took immense pride in the dealership’s participation in We Scare Hunger campaigns and the sponsorship of boys’ and later women’s recreational hockey teams.
Brent was a pillar of our community, dedicating himself to causes close to his heart. His commitment to the community shone through his involvement with the Algoma University John R. Rhodes Scholarship Dinner Committee, nurturing a strong connection to our local university. He generously shared his time, teaching Sunday School and serving on church committees, he actively volunteered with United Way campaigns and the Sault Area Hospital New Hospital project embodying the values he held dear. As a devoted member of the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie for 25 years, he served on numerous committees and proudly assumed the role of president during the 2017-18 term. His involvement in the Rotary Exchange program and dedication to the BRIDGE educational initiative left a lasting impact on the lives of many students.
His cousin, Mike, beautifully captures the essence of Brent’s life- “Brent lived the kind of life that most aspire to but fall far short. He was a fine son, father, husband, a friend to many and made a difference in the lives of all he met. Brent was quick to laugh and hesitant to judge anyone.” At Algoma, we choose to carry Brent’s legacy within us, embracing his values and spreading his kindness and warmth wherever we go.
About John R. Rhodes
Born and educated in Sault Ste Marie, John R. Rhodes began his career in broadcasting as a radio and television personality on CJIC in the 1960s. Mr. Rhodes was elected to City Council and served as Mayor from 1969 to 1971. He went on to serve in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1971 to 1978 as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party and was a member of the provincial cabinet in the government of William Davis as Minister of Transportation and Communications from 1974-1975, Minister of Housing from 1975-1978 and Minister of Industry and Tourism in 1978.
Each year, the John Rhodes Scholarship Dinner Planning Committee selects an honorary speaker who embodies the integrity, leadership, vision and commitment to community services that was the hallmark of John R. Rhodes.
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2022: 20th Anniversary, Dianne Marshall
Diane Marshall has been described as an extraordinary person, and for good reason. Her genuine compassion has led her to very fulfilling careers as an educator and a community volunteer.
Diane began her teaching career in 1963 and quickly became drawn to helping students with special education requirements. After nearly 20 years in the classroom, Diane would move into administration, leading opportunities to establish a gifted program, and introducing new curriculum – a time that she refers to as “her career highlight”. Throughout her career Diane would serve on, and lead, many Ministry of Education committees at the regional, provincial, and international levels. Her expertise would also be used to help future educators as she accepted teaching and administrative roles with the Faculty of Education Departments both at Nipissing University and Lake Superior State University.
When Diane retired from her career in education it was not to have more time for herself. It meant that she had more time to give to others. Diane has always believed that, “everyone has a responsibility to the community, and that we all have a part to play”. Having dedicated her time to many organizations over the years, such as Algoma University, Sault Area Hospital, Retired Teachers’ Organization, Central United Church, United Way, Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, and others, Diane has used the opportunity to become more engaged in the community. She has been a Rotarian for 30 years where she served as President and has been a member of delegations to India (Polio Immunization Program), Honduras (installing water filters and Lorena stoves), and Norway (Group Study Exchange Leader). Diane has been a Convenor for the local Christmas Cheer Program for over 25 years, a member of the Prince Township Museum Board for 37 years, and a volunteer with the Sault Area Hospital for 30 years, serving on their Board of Directors and Emergency Department Advisory Committee.
Diane has received numerous accolades for her dedication to voluntarism and her expertise and leadership in the area of special education. These awards include: the 2002 Queen’s Gold Jubilee Award, Ontario’s “Leading Women, Building Communities Award”, Council for Exceptional Children Leadership Award, 2012 Governor General’s Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers, 2007 City of Sault Ste. Marie Medal of Merit, and many, many more. Diane has led the way locally for women. She was the first female Superintendent for the Algoma District School Board, the first female member of the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, and the first recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Athena Award.
2020: Through the Years; a Celebration of Celebrations
In December 2020, the John R. Rhodes Scholarship Dinner Planning Committee hosted a special premiere of “Through the Years; a Celebration of Celebrations”, commemorating the last 19 years of John R. Rhodes Scholarship Dinner honourees.
Community members and supporters of Algoma University came together virtually to support important scholarships and honourees. Through this virtual event, $50,000 was raised for the John R. Rhodes Scholarship and Emergency Bursary.
On behalf of the John R. Rhodes Scholarship Dinner Planning Committee and Algoma University, we invite you to view this commemorative piece that honours those who have done so much for our community! Sit back, relax, and enjoy!
2019: The McDougall Family
For the McDougall family, family values and community minded investment have been the forefront of a business model that has successfully guided the family owned business for over 70 years. Now in its third generation of family ownership, the company has grown to become one of Canada’s largest marketers and distributors of heating oil, propane, gasoline, diesel fuel, and commercial lubricants, as well as being a leading multi-brand retailer.
The family’s beginnings started in 1945 when Allan McDougall began working for Imperial Oil in Timmins, ON. Four years later, Allan and his wife Lucy relocated their family to Thessalon, where Allan became the regional ESSO agent. In 1972 and after 23 years of service in the industry, Allan retired and passed the reins over to Bryan and his wife, Joy, to run the then- called McDougall Fuels business.
Today, the next generation of McDougall family members, Chris, Darren and Jennifer, run a business that has grown rapidly, with acquisitions and amalgamations adding more lines to an ever-growing portfolio, and expanding into markets across Canada. In 2008 the family changed their corporate name to McDougall Energy Inc. to reflect who they are as a company, and the direction they will take in the future.
Giving back to the communities they serve has always been important to the McDougall family. Through their Community Investment Program they support initiatives that promote the growth of our shared communities, with a special focus on: Education, Health, Recreation, Arts and Culture, Green Initiatives, and Indigenous Communities.
McDougall Energy has generously supported hospitals in Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, St. Joseph Island, Chapleau, Georgetown and Timmins to provide specialized health equipment, been a proud sponsor of the Special Olympics and assisted organizations like Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
They have demonstrated a strong commitment to post-secondary education, helping to provide opportunities for students pursuing their academic dreams, providing support for scholarships & bursaries, and building expansions for both Algoma University and Sault College. Their employees are also involved in events like Algoma University’s Northern Ontario Business Case Competition, sharing their knowledge and expertise with students across the North.
McDougall Energy’s long history of family values and commitment to community investment has generously benefited the many communities in which they have a presence, and have earned them national recognition of being one of Canada’s Best Managed Platinum Member Companies.
2018: The Hollingsworth Family
Fremlin E. Hollingsworth had a business philosophy, “Fair business and community involvement”. A philosophy that he passed down to through the generations. The beginning of his successful career started in 1907 as a bookkeeper for Lock City Manufacturing Company. Two years later Fremlin became a shareholder and manager. He later sold these shares to purchase interest in the Corrigan Lumber Company, and in seven years time, became the sole owner of a company later known as Soo Mill & Lumber Company.
A successful businessman, husband and father, Fremlin was an active member of his community. His expertise was often sought after, and he lead many important initiatives, such as raising funds for the Victory Bonds campaign during the war, running successful campaigns for the hospitals, becoming President of the first Welfare Federation, known today as the United Way. He was also an active service club member, including serving with the Rotary Club for 55 years, and was a founding member of what we know today as the Rotary Community Days. Fremlin retired from Soo Mill & Lumber Co. in 1952, and began a new career as the President of Great Lakes Power Company Ltd., where he served for the next 19 years, along with continuing his community service work.
Fremlin’s sons, Simpson, Lynn and Ian – the second generation of Hollingsworths – were raised following Fremlin’s business philosophy legacy. Together, each brother led a specific aspect of the family business: Simpson oversaw the retail operations; Lynn managed the property and building division, and Ian oversaw the mills, including Michigan Maple Block Company. Over the next 40 years, each brother served in the role as President, seeing the businesses grow in size, services, product lines and locations. What began as a lumber supply store grew to become a leader of building products and renovation supply stores, production and property development. Throughout the business’ growth, the second generation of Hollingsworths continued to be actively involved in their community, serving in a variety of roles with numerous organizations, and generously supporting many charitable causes.
The beginning of the 1990s made way for the third generation of Hollingsworths to carry on the family tradition. Cousins John and Lynn successively lead the business, expanding their installation services, incorporating technology into the prefabrication plant, and consolidating retail operations into their modernized Great Northern Road Location.
For over 100 years, three generations of Hollingsworths have served Sault Ste. Marie and the Algoma district in business, community involvement and philanthropy. Their legacy and commitment to fair business and community involvement continues to live on through their tireless efforts and generosity.
2017: Dr. Frank S. Sarlo
Frank S. Sarlo has had a distinguished and diverse professional and personal career.
As a young man growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Frank attended St. Mary’s College and was the valedictorian of the first graduating class from the all-boys high school. He continued his post-secondary studies at the University of Windsor where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, and a Bachelor of Law from Osgoode Hall in Toronto. Frank was called to the Ontario Bar in 1969 and was later appointed to the Queen’s Counsel by the Province of Ontario in 1985.
Frank enjoyed a fulfilling career in law, where he specialized in Corporate and Commercial Law for close to 40 years. He was a partner in such Sault Ste. Marie based law firms, Caputo Sarlo Irwin, Sarlo O’Neill and most recently Wishart Law Firm LLP. Outside of his busy legal practice, Frank took a leadership role in many important successful initiatives that required bringing together community members and resources to meet specific challenges or goals. Among, numerous other community groups, Frank served as Chair of the Community Action Team, which was formed to support the restructuring of Algoma Steel Corporation, Chair of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, as well as Chair of Sault Ste. Marie’s major Homecoming Festival in 1998.
In recognition of his tireless efforts, Frank was honoured with numerous awards, including the Harry Hamilton Award for Community Service from the Algoma District Law Association, the Paul Dalseg Community Achievement Award from the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce and in 1992, Frank received from the Governor General of Canada, the Commemorative Medal for 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada in recognition of significant contributions to compatriot community and to Canada.
2016: Jack Purvis
Jack Purvis has spent his entire life around the lure of the water. Born to a commercial fisherman, Jack and his family grew up living on Gore Bay, except during the summer months when his family resided at their fishing station at Quebec Harbour on Michipicoten Island.
Growing up around his father’s fish tugs, Jack developed a passion for steam engines and the marine environment, and it came as no surprise that one day he would make it his career.
Jack earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Ontario, and began his career teaching chemistry and physics at the newly opened Bawating Collegiate and Vocational School in 1962.
In 1967, Jack purchased his first tugboat, ROCKET, and used it primarily for diving and salvage expeditions with family and friends. Five years later Jack retired from teaching to devote his attention to the full time hobby of tug boating, and the birth of Purvis Marine. The next two years saw the company making its first over lake tow, when Purvis Marine was contracted to tow the automobile ferry St. Joseph Islander to Kingston, ON, followed by the first large dredging contract, with the dredging of the Pine Street Marina.
With each passing year the fleet grew. From 1984 to present Jack has purchased tugboats, workboats, barges and freighters: including the firefighting tug AVENGER IV, deep sea salvage tug ANGLIAN LADY, crane barge PML SALVAGER, crane vessel YANKCANUCK, PML IRONMASTER barge, to name a few. The largest expansion in the company’s history came in 1994 when Purvis Marine acquired all of the marine assets from A.B. McLean & Sons Ltd.
Jack purchased the Government Wharf from the Department of Transport which continues to serve as the company’s headquarters. He purchased properties and buildings on the waterfront which are now home to local businesses and organizations, including the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Museum. In 2005 a 13 acre parcel of land was purchased and the Sault Multimodal Terminal Inc. was constructed on the site.
Jack Purvis has received many awards and accolades for his accomplishments including; the Chamber of Commerce “Outstanding Business Achievement Award”, Marine Man of the Year, the Sault Ste. Mare Medal of Merit, the Paul Dalseg Community Achievement Award, the Skipper Manzzutti Award for Business Achievement, and in 2015 Jack was inducted into the Great Lake Marine Hall of Fame. A fitting tribute to a man who brought a dream to a very successful reality.
2015: Dr. David Walde
Dr. David Walde, a well-known and respected physician, was the founder of the Oncology Program at the Sault Area Hospital, and is considered to be a pioneer of community-based cancer care. He began his Canadian career as a Chief Resident at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto in the early 1970s and was conducting fly-in clinics in Sault Ste. Marie when he was convinced to move here to establish a permanent cancer program, long before oncology was even a recognized field of medicine.
Dr. Walde was an Oncologist at the Algoma Regional Cancer Program serving a population of 120,000 across the Algoma District. Often working 16-hour days, Dr. Walde provided exceptional care, expertise, and unfailing compassion to his patients and their families. He worked closely with his patients, becoming part of their diagnoses, their treatments, and ultimately, their lives.
During his career, Dr. Walde served in many capacities including: Director of the Oncology Program; Chair of the Oncology Advisory Committee; Chief of Medicine for the Plummer Memorial Hospital; and President of the Medical Staff. He served on the General Hospital Board of Directors, the Nurse Practitioner Clinic, as well as the Ethics, Research and the CAT Scan Steering committees. He founded the Cell Separator Unit and established a local research infrastructure. He was a very active clinical researcher on numerous disease sites and new drug development committees of the National Cancer Institute of Canada. Partnerships with pharmaceutical companies and trials allowed accelerated access for patients to cutting edge treatments. He was a pioneer of the “Closer to Home” initiatives. Prior to his retirement in October 2014, he was a member of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario; the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; Algoma West Academy of Medicine; the Ontario Medical Association; the Canadian Association of Medical Oncologists; and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Walde has dedicated countless hours to community fundraising campaigns, including Algoma University’s Essential Elements Campaign, C.A.T. Scan Campaign, and the Sault Area Hospital Foundation, where he Co-Chaired a record breaking $29 million capital campaign. In recognition of his fundraising efforts, and his unwavering support and compassionate care for his patients and their families, the hospital’s gala committee funded the naming of the new SAH’s radiotherapy centre in his honour.
His life’s commitment has been widely recognized with many prestigious accolades: the Commemorative 125th Confederation Medal; the Group Health Centre’s John Barker Award; the Sault Ste. Marie Walk of Fame; the Paul Dalseg Community Achievement Award; the Dr. William Hutchinson Award; the City of Sault Ste. Marie Medal of Merit Award twice; the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship; the Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee medals, and the Order of Ontario.
On the occasion of Algoma University’s 50th Anniversary it is only fitting to honour a man who has given so much to serve others. Algoma University is pleased to establish the “Dr. David Walde Humanitarian Scholarship”. This scholarship will be awarded to a first year student from Sault Ste. Marie, choosing to embark on a career of service to help others.
2014: Donna Hilsinger
Donna Hilsinger and her family are well-known in the hospitality sector. Some would even say it is in her blood. Having grown up in the service industry, Donna learned business from the ground up, starting at the age of 10, when she worked in the family-owned businesses, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Girl in Red Restaurant, Searchmont Resort, and Algoma’s Water Tower Inn. Through hard work and dedication, she worked her way to the position she holds today, General Manager
of Algoma’s Water Tower Inn & Suites.
A champion of creative ideas, Donna always looks for opportunities to promote her business, tourism, the community, the arts, and innovative partnerships. If there is an opportunity to bring people together to inspire new ideas, Donna will be involved. Her efforts have been appropriately recognized through awards like the Global Traders Award – Innovation Award for Merit for Excellence in Exporting; Chamber of Commerce Business Award for Excellence in Marketing; and the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre Award of Recognition of Contribution
to Information Technology and the Community.
In addition to running a successful hotel, Donna is also extensively involved in the community. She is the President of the Algoma Fall Festival; Past Chair of Tourism Sault Ste. Marie; Member of the Sault Ste. Marie EDC; Chairperson of the Sault Trails Action Committee; Member of Tourism Northern Ontario Board; Member of the Children’s Aid Society of Algoma Board; Co-Organizer of the Northern Ontario Algoma U Business Case Competition, among others. Her involvement in community fundraisers is equally impressive and includes Algoma University’s John R. Rhodes Scholarship Dinner; Soo Sings for Kids; Dr. Roberta Bondar Recognition Dinner; Dr. David Walde Retirement Dinner; An Evening with
Stephen Lewis; and the Sault Area Hospital Foundation.
Her tireless efforts and commitment have earned her well-deserved recognition. Donna has been personally awarded the Algoma University Senate Award (2014); Leading Women Building Communities Award from the Province of Ontario (2013); the coveted Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012); Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Award (2012); Sault Ste. Marie Business & Professional Women’s Award (2012); and the Northern Ontario Business, Influential Woman of the Year Award (2008).
Donna’s spirit and enthusiasm are infectious. No idea is too big or too small. If it’s worth doing, you can be sure that Donna Hilsinger is involved, encouraging, supporting and moving it forward.
2013: The Cronies
For the past 28 years this group of friends have been enjoying the pleasure of each other’s company over lunch every Wednesday and Saturday. Jo-Anne Brooks, (the late) Ted Brooks, Damon Godfrey, Jim McAuley, Don Mitchell, Wayne Prouse and (the late) John Rowswell, affectionately dubbed as “The Cronies,” can regularly be found at the round table every week (in body and in spirit) exchanging ideas and discussing ways to help our community grow and prosper.
Not content to sit idly by and just talk about how things should be, this passionate group has rolled up their sleeves and become actively involved in various projects to make our community a better place to live, work and play. And because working hard to make things happen isn’t enough for this group, they have made a point of encouraging and inspiring others to get involved too.
Originally beginning in 1985, the group started meeting to exchange business information and ideas, but after the down turn in employment at Algoma Steel in 1992 discussions became how to revitalize the Soo and help the community to regrow. The group became involved in initiatives to help our post-secondary institutions, our healthcare providers, and business community. They have also assisted various social and cultural initiatives both financially and through volunteerism, and have supported various political campaigns throughout the last 20 years, with the idea that they would support the person/party who would best help regrow our tremendous city.
“The Cronies” are all very good friends. They openly share and discuss ideas. Each has the success of the City of Sault Ste. Marie as their ultimate goal and they love and support anything that benefits this city. One of their strongest bonds is that they all have a good sense of humour and are not afraid to poke fun at one another, which happens on a regular basis. Their friendship, support and charity for our community, along with their fearless approach to addressing issues, finding ways to move things forward, and pitching in to help whenever help is required is the hallmark of this unique and diverse group.
This is a group that has bonded together over the last 28 years…at a table…sharing lunch…sharing ideas…and is affectionately known as “The Cronies”.
2012: Hon. Ray Stortini
The Hon. Ray Stortini has always maintained his connection with his working class background and continues to advocate for those in need.
Having spent his early years as a labourer in the steel plant, a great lakes seaman and an insurance adjuster, Ray initially wanted to be a teacher. He attended the University of Western Ontario as an adult special student. Deciding to change career paths, he applied to Osgoode in 1956. After graduating he practiced law, became a Special Federal Prosecutor and later was the first Area Director of Legal Aid.
Ray was appointed a Judge of York County (Toronto) in 1971, appointed to the Algoma District Court in 1976 and in 1990 was appointed as the Justice of the Superior Court of Justice, a post held until his retirement in 2004.
The Hon. Ray Stortini is well known for having initiated the Community Service Order program, an alternative to jail requiring non violent offenders to work for charitable institutions in the community. Beginning in Toronto in 1975, the program spread across the country and as far as Australia. Caseloads of probations officers were reduced and millions of hours of work were performed benefiting communities.
Never one to sit idle, Ray continues to help others through his volunteer work. He is a member of the St. Joseph Island Lions Club, Ken Brown Recovery Home, Sault Family YMCA and Soup Kitchen. He previously served as President of the Sault Theatre Workshop, Founding Chair of the Folk Arts Association, member of Sault Ste Marie City Council for two terms and recently completed a six year term with the Algoma University Board of Governors and Senate.
An accomplished author, Ray has published a collection of short stories entitled, “Only in Canada”, Memories of an Italian Canadian. The book sales proceeds benefit the Soup Kitchen Community Centre. Having grown up in the west end, Ray is actively engaged with a local group of volunteers seeking to revitalize the James Town area.
The Hon. Ray Stortini was recently recognized for his contributions to society by receiving the Order of Ontario, the highest provincial honour bestowed on an individual. This award recognizes the greatest minds, forward-thinkers, humanitarians, activists and pioneers in our province – qualities that are exemplified by The Hon. Ray Stortini.
2011: Dr. Lou and Mrs. Mae Lukenda
Married on June 5, 1954, Dr. Lou and Mae Lukenda have created an amazing partnership that has spanned more than 57 years.
Mae’s life has been centered around her family, church and community. As a proud wife and mother of seven, she is the glue that holds the family together and symbolizes its values. Mae has been active in the twin Saults in many community organizations and projects. She served on the Board of Directors for the Sault Ste. Marie Area Community Foundation in Sault Michigan. With her high energy and strong sense of commitment to Lou and the children, she supported Lou in working diligently in his profession and following his numerous other interests, especially in education and health care.
Retiring as a dentist after 38 years, Lou remains a member of several dental associations and his dedication to health care continues today. His commitment to education is impressive. He has held several appointments including the Order in Council to the Council of Regents Colleges of Ontario (1978-1982), Chair of the Sault Ste. Marie Board of Education (1969-1974) and he was a founding member of the Algoma College Task Force (1959-60).
Lou has received many awards and citations over the years which include: Golden Jubilee Medal of Canada (2002); Medal of Merit Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (2004); Honorary Senate Award – Algoma University College (2006); Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humane Letters from Lake Superior State University (2007) and the Rotary International Top Award, the Paul Harris Fellow (2008).
Lou’s love of sports has been a large part of his life. In his undergraduate years he played basketball and football and in 1993 he was inducted into the Sault Ste. Marie Basketball Hall of Fame. More recently, in March of this year, he co-chaired the OCAA Men’s Basketball Championships, held locally for the first time. Lou has been involved with the Soo Greyhounds for the past 15 years, serving as President for the past seven years.
Both Lou and Mae are well-known community leaders and philanthropists supporting various causes, especially in education and health care. Recently, they have established the Dr. Lou and Mae Lukenda Charitable Foundation which will continue in the future under the direction of their children. With their generous support and donation, the Algoma University Foundation has established the Dr. Lou and Mae Lukenda Charitable Foundation Award, intended to support student athletes who may need assistance to complete their degree studies.
2010: Dr. Celia Ross
Dr. Celia Ross became President of Algoma University College in 1998, when it was a struggling affiliate college of Laurentian University. In 12 event-filled years, she led the university to its current status as one of Ontario’s fastest-growing universities. With several new buildings on campus, new research programs, a new downtown campus extension being planned, and Algoma University at Brampton up and running, it is no wonder that Premier Dalton McGuinty has called Algoma U “Ontario’s most innovative and ambitious university.”
Dr. Ross began her career at Algoma University College in the spring of 1982 when she accepted a position with the French Department to teach French Literature. Previously, Dr. Celia Ross studied Modern Languages at Queen’s University, then went on to earn her Master’s Degree at l’Université de Poitiers and her PhD at l’Université de Bordeaux III in France. Over the years, she says she has come to love Sault Ste. Marie and its surroundings and has happily settled here with her family.
Of the many accomplishments Dr. Ross can point to over her time as President, one that stands out is the signing of the Covenant between Algoma U and the Shingwauk Education Trust in 2006. This formally confirmed their partnership as a core mandate and helps define the university’s future direction. When Algoma University became an autonomous institution in 2008, its charter contained the special mission of continuing to provide education for Anishinaabe peoples.
Algoma University is heading into another period of intense growth and development, building on the successes of the last few years and looking ahead to new opportunities. Thanks to the inspired leadership of Dr. Ross, and the support of many friends and partners, Algoma University will continue on its path with innovation and ambition.
2009: C.J. (Bud) Wildman
Bud Wildman’s retirement, from an impressive 24 year career in provincial politics, has been anything but quiet. Through his firm, Wildman Consulting, Bud, a longstanding advocate of Canada’s Aboriginal People, assists provincial and federal governments and private sector companies in working with First Nations on governance, economic development and resource management issues.
In 2000, Bud accepted a new challenge and became Chair of the Board of Governors of Algoma University College. Since then, working tirelessly with Dr. Celia Ross, President, and a large number of committed and enthusiastic volunteers, Bud has led the efforts to nurture and strengthen the university’s growth. Algoma University now has more students and professors, from more countries, than ever before.The campus is growing and the institution has enjoyed almost a decade of unparalleled financial stability.
Bud was present in Toronto when Algoma U’s independence legislation was introduced in the Ontario parliament. The legislation was passed with the consent of all three political parties in record time. Bud and Celia had the great pleasure of symbolically striking the word ‘college’ from the institution’s sign on Queen Street. This is a major contribution to the future of Sault Ste. Marie and Northern Ontario.
Another of Bud’s accomplishments as a chair was the signing of the Covenant between Algoma U and the Shingwauk Education Trust (SET). On behalf of the Board, Bud endorsed this agreement to establish a true partnership between Algoma University and Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig (Shingwauk University). The Covenant requires the two educational centres to work co-operatively to develop and expand post-secondary educational opportunities for both Anishinaabe and non-Native students.
Bud’s effective leadership, and his personal commitment to Algoma University and the future of Sault Ste. Marie have been the key contributions to the advancement of Algoma U from affiliate college of Laurentian University to its current status as Ontario’s newest university. With the support of his wife Anne (an Algoma U alumni) and his children, Bud has left his mark on Algoma University and has set a gold standard for future Board Chairs. Algoma University and its future are more secure because of it.
To honour Bud and his wife Anne, and to recognize their lifetime contributions to education, the Algoma University Foundation has established The Bud and Anne Wildman Scholarship. This endowed fund will provide a scholarship to a high-achieving Anishinaabe student in his or her final year of studies at Algoma U. Donations to this endowed fund will support this scholarship in perpetuity, appropriately acknowledging the permanent impact of Bud’s contribution to the launch of Algoma University.
2007: Cathy and George Shunock
Cathy and George Shunock passionately believe in Sault Ste. Marie. Their generosity to our community has been recognized both locally and provincially. Cathy and George have been active supporters, individually and together, of hockey, theatre, education, children’s services, adult social services, and business organizations. Both are recipients of the Sault Ste. Marie Medal of Merit for outstanding contributions to Sault Ste. Marie.
Married since 1963, the Shunocks have five children Mark, Joey, Lisa, David and Michael. It is evident that one of the family’s strong common bonds is their ‘just can’t stay on the sidelines’
attitude. For the past forty years, Cathy and George have been devoted to the community and determined to make Sault Ste. Marie a better place to work, live and play.
2006: Paul Dalseg
Paul Dalseg’s pride in his family is evident as he describes meeting his wife Eleanor in 1951 in Dryden.
A nurse, she was working for the Red Cross and he was a young World War II vet, learning the ropes of the retail industry. It was a natural career choice for him, as his father owned a general store in Rainy River District, on Lake-of-the-Woods. The store was on a barge, and traveled from community to community on the lake.
Many years later, Paul honoured his parents’ relationships with the Aboriginal communities around the lake by establishing the Paul and Bricken Dalseg Pioneers of Lake-of-the-Woods Student Award through the Algoma U Foundation. This is a special bursary fund that will eventually provide a financial award equivalent to the cost of tuition, for a first-year student from the area where Paul was raised. Although he did not have the opportunity to attend university, Paul believes strongly in the value of a university education, and he has had the pleasure of watching his children and his grandchildren take advantages of the educational opportunities he himself did not have.
Paul and Eleanor eventually moved to Port Credit and then to Sault Ste. Marie, purchasing the city’s Canadian Tire store and moving it to Great Northern Road in 1974. Paul could see that the Soo would expand northward, and was planning for the future. Paul retired in 1992, and he speaks warmly of his career with Canadian Tire, and of his former employees and colleagues.
Paul has been called the ‘stuff of legend’; for his war-time experiences, his untiring commitment to his community, and his love for his family and friends. World-traveler, wine connoisseur, entrepreneur, philanthropist and city-builder, father, grandfather, role model and gentleman, Paul Dalseg has earned the respect and admiration of the Sault Ste. Marie community.
The Algoma U Foundation Dinner Committee is proud to honour Paul Dalseg at the 2006 John R. Rhodes Scholarship Dinner.
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