Everyday physics talk to kick off Alumni Weekend
BY MARY DICKIESON
Alumni Weekend borrows its “Looking Back, Moving Forward” theme from president Alastair Summerlee's 2005 President's Report, but it's also an appropriate title for the weekend's keynote lecture honouring Albert Einstein.
In this International Year of Physics, we're looking back at Einstein's contributions to science. At a Perimeter Institute lecture June 24, we'll be moving forward with one of today's foremost think tanks in theoretical physics. Perimeter scientist and University of Waterloo math professor Rob Myers will be the guest speaker.
Launched only four years ago, the Perimeter Institute research facility is already well-known for its lecture series, which promotes understanding of physics in everyday life. Talks are geared to a general audience, and Myers will offer an entertaining presentation style while using numbers to help describe space, time and matter. The 7 p.m. lecture is free and open to everyone, but tickets are required. To reserve, call Ext. 53965.
“Looking Back, Moving Forward” is also relevant to the traditional highlights of Alumni Weekend: class reunions and the presentation of the U of G Alumni Association (UGAA) Awards of Excellence.
Two dozen reunion events are planned from June 24 to 26, in addition to the special gold and silver anniversaries for graduates of 1955 and 1980. The alumni awards will be presented Saturday at the traditional President's Lunch. This year's recipients are Mary Coyle, a 1978 BA and 1985 MA graduate (Alumna of Honour); 1984 MFA graduate David Urban (Alumni Medal of Achievement); and 2003 honorary degree recipient Prof. Sandy Warley (Alumni Volunteer Award).
In addition, the OVC Alumni Association will present its OVC Distinguished Alumnus Award to 1976 graduate Carin Wittnich Saturday morning at the association's annual meeting, which begins at 9 a.m. in the Lifetime Learning Centre. Following the meeting, tours of the college will be available, and OVC grad Blake Graham will sign copies of his book, Sow's Ear to Silk Purse: Anecdotes From the Life of a Veterinarian.
Coyle is a graduate of Guelph's rural planning program. She honed her administrative skills during a CUSO placement in Botswana, as an adviser for the Sulawesi Regional Development Project in Indonesia and serving Canada's First Nations people through the Calmeadow Foundation. She is now director of the Coady International Institute and a vice-president at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia.
As part of her commitment to sustainable development, Coyle led an effort on her campus to create the Xtending Hope project that is supporting African countries overwhelmed by the AIDS crisis. She is also the founding director of the Stephen Lewis Foundation and sits on the boards of the International Development Research Centre, the Indian School of Micro Finance for Women and St. Francis Xavier University. Most recently, she was appointed to the chair's advisory group of the Canadian Judicial Council.
Urban will be honoured for his contributions to Canadian art and culture. He is recognized as one of Canada's most prominent painters, having shown his work in 30 solo and 40 group exhibitions in both commercial galleries and museums across Canada and abroad. He is also an art critic, writer and curator. In 2002, he organized a major survey exhibition of paintings by Canadian artists for the Shanghai Art Museum in China. He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art in 2003.
Urban is a frequent guest critic for Guelph's MFA program and was a speaker at the academic symposium “PAINT!” held on campus last October. He is also one of three artists who donated a work to the School of Fine Art and Music's print portfolio in 2004; this fundraising venture will support the University's fine art programs and students.
Warley has pursued a career in volunteerism since retiring from the faculty of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Business in 1991. He came to Guelph as chair of the department in 1970 and remains one of the strongest advocates for his discipline, the Ontario Agricultural College and the University.
The OAC Alumni Association and OAC Alumni Foundation have relied on his talents in strategic planning and communication for more than a decade. He has been integral to the development of the association's newsletter and website, its constitution and 2004 strategic plan and the establishment of a joint investment committee that serves both the association and foundation.
In 1999, Warley chaired the communications committee for OAC's 125th-anniversary celebrations. He has also contributed to community organizations, including the Guelph Wellington Men's Club, the Guelph Horticultural Society and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, which awarded him a certificate of achievement to recognize more than 20 years of volunteer service.
Wittnich is a professor in the departments of surgery and physiology at the University of Toronto and director of U of T's cardiovascular sciences collaborative program. She has published widely and won several prestigious awards for her research at U of T, where she has also created several new graduate and undergraduate courses and established the first cardiovascular sciences collaborative program in Canada.
Outside the professional realm, she is a longtime volunteer for the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation and a founding member of the Oceanographic Environmental Research Society. She received the Order of Ontario in 2001 and the Queen's Jubilee Medal in 2002.
Other Alumni Weekend events include:
June 25 — Star Party, MacNaughton Building Observatory.
June 26 — CSAHS dean's breakfast and tours, campus tours, OAC '33 book launch, alumni association annual meetings, President's Lunch and open house, Hagen Aqualab tour, alumni tour of the library, science complex tours, an alumni dinner in the Rozanski Hall concourse, and an alumni pub in the Bullring.
June 27 — Ecumenical service and farewell breakfast.
Members of the campus community are invited to attend any of these Alumni Weekend events, but advance reservations are required. For details, ticket prices and a registration form, visit the website www.uoguelph.ca/alumni.
STUDENT, PROF RECEIVE TWO NEW UGAA AWARDS
In addition to its traditional alumni awards of merit, the UGAA has established new volunteer awards to recognize the contributions of students and employees.
The first UGAA Student Volunteer Award was presented to Xiao Wang, a master's student in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, at a graduate student awards ceremony in March.
An international student from China, he has immersed himself in Canadian culture through volunteerism. He is a member of the Gryphon Toastmasters Club, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, the Graduate Students' Association and CFRU Radio, where he hosts a radio program in Mandarin.
Wang is also a volunteer for the Hillside Music Festival and Best Buddy Canada, which supports mentally challenged adults. He maintains homeland connections by continuing to write for a Shanghai newspaper and help with publicity for the Shanghai Grand Theatre.
University professor emeritus Leonard Adams, Languages and Literatures, will receive the first UGAA Employee Volunteer Award at the University's community breakfast in September. The award will celebrate his 40-year relationship with the University.
Adams continues to work as a scholar and volunteer for the College of Arts even though he officially retired 10 years ago. He contributes scholarly work and translation without compensation, and has volunteered to co-ordinate fundraising campaigns in the college to benefit the University and the United Way.
These activities reinforce his past involvement in the City of Guelph's anti-pollution committee, Block Parents and Family and Children's Services of Guelph, for which he served as a foster parent for a dozen years.
A talented musician, Adams has worked tirelessly for the Guelph Spring Festival and performed with the Guelph Chamber Choir. He is also the chief pianist at his church.
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