Grads Return for Alumni Weekend

June 15, 2009 - News Release

The University of Guelph's Alumni Weekend is all about reunions, and this year more than 40 classes - ranging from 1939 to 2004 - are planning to meet back on campus June 19 and 20. In all, more than 1,500 alumni are expected to attend.

Gryphon Hall of Famer Bill Weber, a 1959 graduate of the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC), is the honorary chair of the weekend. Weber was a noted 1950s Gryphon quarterback.

Highlights include nighttime viewing in the physics observatory, a tour of the ongoing restoration work in the Macdonald Institute Building and a pub night at the Brass Taps. There will also be tours of the campus, the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre’s sculpture garden, the President’s House, the U of G Library archives, and the new Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre.

The U of G Alumni Association (UGAA) will present its annual Awards of Excellence and the Ontario Veterinary College will hand out two new awards, along with its traditional Distinguished Alumnus Award.

This year’s Alumnus of Honour is retired Guelph crop science professor Neal Stoskopf, who received a BSA from the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) in 1957 and an MSA in 1958. Stoskopf was a U of G administrator and faculty member for 37 years before retiring in 1994. His research in wheat breeding has been widely recognized in Canada and abroad. He was awarded the Friendship Medal by the Chinese government in 1995 for increasing wheat production by up to 25 per cent and helping to introduce winter wheat in China. In retirement, Stoskopf has taught teaching sustainable agricultural practices in China, the Philippines, Bolivia and Bulgaria

The Alumni Volunteer Award will be presented to 1980 OAC graduate Mary Lynn McPherson. Her volunteer involvement over the last 20 years has led to various leadership positions in the OAC Alumni Association, OAC Alumni Foundation and the UGAA. She also dedicates her time to various community groups.

During OVC’s June 20 breakfast and annual general meeting, John Crawley, a 1944 graduate of OVC, will receive the 2009 Distinguished Alumnus Award. The inaugural Young Alumnus of Honour Award will be presented to 1996 graduate and pathobiology professor Scott Weese, Pathobiology. And 1984 graduate Brian Ausman will be the first recipient of the Alumni Volunteer Award.

Crawley is being recognized for his 30-year career with Connaught Laboratories, where he led the development of some 37 animal and human vaccines.

Weese is an expert in veterinary infection control and is involved with infection prevention and outbreak investigation in animals and humans. His research on methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile has received wide recognition.

In addition to practising veterinary medicine, Ausman went on to earn both an MBA and a law degree. He practises law at Miller Thompson LLP in Guelph. He has travelled extensively in Asia, Africa and South America and volunteered to do the founding legal work for the establishment of Veterinarians Without Borders-Canada.

The physics talk and star party will be June 19, with physics professor Robert Brooks discussing "Modern Telescopes and What They See” at 9 p.m. followed by a 10 p.m. Star party. Registration is required for the star party due to space restrictions. Registration is available online.

For media questions, contact U of G Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982

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