Summerlee Awarded Local Peace Medal

November 25, 2013 - News Release

University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee has been awarded the YMCA-YWCA of Guelph’s 2013 YMCA Peace Medal. The award was announced Friday during National YMCA Peace Week.

The local awards are part of a national initiative to recognize individuals who have worked to foster culture or peace in their communities.

Summerlee was honoured for global peace efforts, especially his promotion of education for girls and women in African refugee camps.

The award also recognizes his leadership in making U of G the first Canadian university to join Leave for Change. Under this program, staff and faculty volunteer their vacation time working in a developing country.

He also helped lead the "Bracelet of Hope” campaign for an AIDS clinic in Lesotho and the University’s BetterPlanet Project, a fundraising campaign for teaching and research in food, environment, health and communities.

“I am honoured to be recognized in this way, but there is so much to do,” Summerlee said.

“I hope we can all take opportunities to work for peace, equality and tolerance in our community and beyond.”

Summerlee began working in Africa while chairing the board of directors of World University Service of Canada (WUSC). A leading Canadian international development agency, WUSC works with students, faculty and institutions to highlight global issues and provide education and training. Among its many initiatives is the “Shine a Light” campaign, which has helped girls to continue their studies in African refugee camps.

In his nomination letter, Dick Freeborough, chair of the U of G Board of Governors, called Summerlee “a peacemaker, calling people to action from a wide range of contexts in the pursuit of education and sustainable resolution of world hunger and poverty throughout the world."

Along with Summerlee, local peacemaker Dylan Paczay will also receive a medallion at the YMCA's annual general meeting in May 2014.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or; or Kevin Gonsalves, Ext. 56982, or

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