Special alumni honoured
By Sharon Navarro
Thousands of Western alumni will make the annual pilgrimage to London this weekend for Homecoming.
For Nancy McNee, Ken Milne, Marion Woodman and Frank Hayden, this return home is extra special, as they will be awarded for their accomplishments at tonight's 23rd Annual Alumni Awards dinner.
"We certainly look at life accomplishments, activity within the university and involvement within the community as important criteria when selecting candidates for these awards," said Gerry Roberts, manager of alumni Western ambassadors and member of the alumni awards selection committee.
Nancy McNee, recipient of this year's highly distinguished Award of Merit, graduated in 1949 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. "I am thrilled and humbled that I have been given this award," she said, adding she never dreamed her volunteer work would earn her an award.
Since her days as a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, volunteering has dominated her life. "I think volunteering while in university is an important learning process," McNee said. She said she believes her experiences enhanced her understanding of the community as well as given her lifelong friends.
This year's Professional Achievement Award, given to Marion Woodman, is especially fitting, as she is a role model for others and a revolutionary in her field, Roberts said. She is hailed as one of Canada's national treasures and as a Jungarian analyst has been a front runner in bringing the world of analytical psychology to the broader community.
Bringing change is a big thing for this year's recipient of the Community Service Award and that is exactly what current professor emeritus at McMaster University, Frank Hayden has brought about.
Founder of the Special Olympics and Western graduate in 1955, his studies and work of more than 40 years has changed the way mentally and physically challenged people are viewed.
Ken Milne, a family doctor, is the winner of this year's Young Alumni Award. "Without another young alumni, my wife Barbara Lubell, I don't think I could have done as much as I've done. We're a special partnership," Milne said.
Having organized such events as the "Purple, Proud and Protected" mousepad campaign, Milne is a role model for future medicine grads.
Alumni Western will be contributing $1,000 in the name of each award winner towards the Alumni Association Scholarship fund.