Order of OAC

The Order of OAC was created by the OAC Alumni Foundation in 1999 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Ontario Agricultural College. It is a means of recognizing and celebrating significant financial contributions by individual donors to the Foundation and OAC. These gifts support OAC’s mission to enrich the teaching and research of all aspects of agriculture, food, the environment, and community development.

The OAC Alumni Foundation believes there is tremendous positive momentum in the agri-food sector and that now is the time to build our investment in OAC’s future. The Order of OAC is a means of honouring this special level of commitment. 

Order members have supported the OAC Learning Trust, Conservatory, Arboretum, the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, facility upgrades, research, faculty positions, student scholarships, bursaries and travel grants, and the Student Liaison Initiative among other projects close to the hearts of donors.

Individuals whose cumulative contributions of $100,000 or more to the Foundation or OAC, received since 1998, qualify for membership in the Order of OAC. Gifts may be in the form of bequests, irrevocable insurance policies, or cash equivalent donations. They may be designated for either endowment or expendable purposes.

We are immensely proud of the continued growth of the Order of OAC family and thankful for the ongoing commitment to OAC by these generous donors.

*Indicates Order members who have passed away.

Members of the Order of OAC

2019

Robert Kerr, OAC ’68 – Robert, who farms in Chatham, is known as a forward-thinking pioneer of sustainable farming. He has a long history of supporting his alma mater from participating on the Board of Governors to his philanthropy at Ridgetown Campus and most recently with his substantial support of the Soils at Guelph Outreach and Communications Coordinator position.
 
Robert Logan, OAC ’54 – Robert, from Palmerston, Ontario, has been a long-time supporter of his class project, the Beth Duncan Memorial Gold Medal. His advocacy for supporting students and giving back to his alma mater led him to create his most recent award, the Dr. H.A. Logan Scholarship, which supports graduate students that will have an impact on maintaining rural livelihoods.

Lillie Ann Morris – Lillie Ann asked what more could be done to support the development of sustainable soil practices. Her dedication to sustainable agriculture and her gift to OAC ignited the Soils at Guelph Outreach and Communications Coordinator position, which is dedicated to an effort to increase awareness of research initiatives, facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange among stakeholders, and to educate on the importance of soil health.

2018

Dave Baute, Ridgetown ’77, and Brenda Baute  –  Dave and Brenda are committed donors to the OAC’s Ridgetown Campus. Through their generous contributions over the years they have helped support the development of the campus and helped improve the delivery of our programs. Their support has gone to various projects including the Rural Development Centre, The Reek Rejuvenation project and most recently the Ontario Crop Research and Innovation Centre. 

Ron Craig, OAC ’72  –  Ron’s gifts have supported many priorities here at the Ontario Agricultural College, including the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, his Alma Mater Highest Priority Fund, the Gord Nixon Leadership Award, his OAC ‘71/’72 class fundraising project, and most recently, a leadership gift to help support the Guelph Turfgrass Institute relocation project.

Anne* and Don Estill* –  Anne and Don Estill were longstanding supporters of the University of Guelph, specifically the Arboretum. Their gifts have been designated towards the Arboretum Development Fund, Boardwalk Fund, Highest Priority Fund, and most recently the Arboretum Internship Program

Tony Leung, OAC ’77, and Connie Leung, CSS ’77  –  Tony and Connie Leung recognize that the next priority in food production should emphasize safeguarding our food chain. Their gift created the Leung Family Professorship in Food Safety, to help with faculty and research capacity to promote food safety and consumer protection.

Lydia Luckevich, CPES ’79, and Don Pinchin*  –  Lydia and Don have been longstanding supporters of the Ontario Agricultural College. Recently they established the Pinchin Family Chair in Bee Health, and the Don Pinchin Scholarship in Honey Bee Research and Beneficial Insect Health.

Ron Schiedel  –  Ron’s leadership and contribution to the Guelph Turfgrass Institute relocation project can not be overstated. His dedication to the project has been unwavering over the last 10 years. He has not only sat on the steering committee, the fundraising committee and had provided generously to the project as well. 
 

2017

Margaret* and Angus Hamilton  –  The Hamiltons established Margaret and Angus Hamilton Apple Research Scholarship for students who demonstrate an interest in any aspect of apple research (including nutrition, propagating, post-harvest and pest control) in the Department of Plant Agriculture.

Lt Col Ronald Durst, BSA 1964 and Eleanor Durst – The Dursts established the LCol. Ron and Mrs. Eleanor Durst Scholarship in Agricultural Economics for students entering a graduate program in the Department of Food Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Raymond Chyc, B.Sc. (Agr.) 1982, and Shelley Chyc – The Chys established the Ray Chyc Graduate Entrance Scholarship in Plant Agriculture for students entering thesis-based graduate programs in the Department of Plant Agriculture who have demonstrated an interest in projects related to sustainable crop production inputs. They also supported the work of the Guelph Turfgrass Relocation Project ensuring relevant research, education and extension on turfgrass production and management for the Canadian turfgrass industry.

2016

Dr. Peter Hannam, OAC 1962 – Peter has given to many projects over the years, including OAC Highest Priorities, the Arboretum, the Conservatory Endowment, OAC Alumni Foundation, and the Bioproducts Discovery Centre.

John Lindley*, OAC 1953 – John has supported many different initiatives over the years, including the OAC Highest Priorities, OAC Alumni Foundation 1953 Class Anniversary Project, University Highest Priority, as well as the University of Guelph Choir.

George Klosler, OAC 1962, and Gerri Klosler – George and Gerri have supported projects, including the OAC Learning Trust, The Arboretum, Food Science, OAC Scholarships and Bursaries, and the OAC Alumni Foundation. In 2014, they supported the creation of the Libro Credit Union Professorship in Southwestern Ontario Economic Development.

2015

Dr. Bruce Stone, OAC 1953  – Dr. Stone's various gifts to OAC and the OAC Alumni Foundation have supported a variety of initiatives primarily consisting of the Student Liaison Project and student scholarships.

George Whetham, OAC 1953, and Mrs. Lois Whetham, MAC 1954 – The Whetham's established the George and Lois Whetham Scholarships in Food Systems. 

2014

Joe Maxwell, OAC ’51 and Barb Maxwell – The Maxwell’s directed their gift to the OAC Learning Trust that will support OAC student experiential learning opportunities.

Jim McIntosh, OAC 1959, M.Sc. 1961 and Brenda McIntosh – The McIntosh’s established the McIntosh Family Professorship in Poultry Nutrition in the Department of Animal and Poultry Science (now the Department of Animal Biosciences).

James Murby*, OAC 1935 – Through his gift, the late James Murby established a Poultry Welfare Graduate Scholarship.

George Roberts*, B.Sc. (Agr.) 1960 and Lorna Roberts, MAC 1962 – Through their gift, the Roberts supported the future establishment of a new faculty position in the college in the area of rural economic development.

2013

Mr. Don Pestell, RCAT 1962 – Pestell’s most recent gift has helped establish the new Ridgetown Campus student service and alumni centre, allowing the campus to provide exceptional services to all the colleges stakeholder groups.

Mr. Edward Kendall*, OAC 1963 – Kendall’s gift will see an upgrading of the Johnston Hall Boardroom, which will include a video conferencing system to enhance communications and connections provincially, nationally and internationally.

Dr. Jane Webster, CPES 1971 – Through Webster’s gift the Webster Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Environmental Sciences was established in honour of the late Earle J.D. Webster, to fund groundbreaking environmental science research.

Dr. John Summers*, OAC 1953 – Summers’ contribution created the Schnellers and Summers Scholarship, a graduate travel award of $2,000 for graduate students in OAC who plan to conduct research or study in other countries with the expectation of bringing direct improvements to Canadian agriculture are eligible. The scholarship was established in memory of John Summers and Wilfred Schneller, John and his wife Marion’s fathers.

Mr. Norman McCollum*, OAC 1966A – McCollum’s most recent gift established the Norman McCollum Dairy Scholarship, in recognition of his valued friendship with the Glenholme Jersey Farm, for OAC students planning to work on a dairy farm or in the dairy industry.

Mr. William (Bill) Harrison, OAC 1962 – Harrison’s gift supported Phase II of the Bio-products Discovery and Development Centre project, which began construction early in 2013.

Dr. Philip Gosling and Mrs. Susan Gosling – Long-time supporters of the University of Guelph, the Goslings’ most recent gift will support infrastructure including a unique cryopreservation facility at the Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation (GRIPP), which they established in 2011/12.

2012

James MacDonald*, OAC 1950 and Shirley MacDonald – James and Shirley’s gift funded renovations to the OAC Program Counselling Office in Johnston Hall as well as providing two scholarships for Ridgetown campus students where James MacDonald served as principal from 1980-1985.

Andrew Wilder, B.Sc. (Agr) 1984 – Andy Wilder’s gift will help fund the Institute for Advanced Study of Food and Agricultural Policy, an important initiative of the Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics. Mr. Wilder is a member of the Better Planet Project campaign cabinet.

June Laver DHE 1940 – The namesake of a yellow miniature rose, June Laver, wife of the late rose hybridzer Keith Laver (BSA ’40), has generously created The Keith and June Laver Endowment Trust Fund which will provide two annual awards to grad students studying environmental issues in agriculture.

Ron and Doreen McCracken – Both from farming backgrounds, Ron and Doreen McCracken understand the importance of agricultural education and have established the McCracken Family OAC Bursaries. The bursaries will provide five OAC students with a $2,000 award which, thanks to matching from the Ontario government, will be available in perpetuity.

Gintarius (Ginty) Jocius*, OAC 1970 – The late Ginty Jocius – entrepreneur, agricultural communicator, creator of Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show – was also the initiator of the Order of the OAC. The gift from Jocius will be directed to phase II of the Bio Products Discovery Centre.

2011

Dr. George Thurtell, B.Sc. 1957, M.Sc. 1960 – Dr. Thurtell was a professor at the University of Guelph in Land Resources Science until 1999, afterwards becoming professor emeritus. Dr. Thurtell helped create the Thurtell Family Scholarship for the study of atmospheric sciences in the OAC's School of Environmental Sciences.

2010

Lois Stockton* – With funding from the Stockton Family Trust, Donald Stockton OAC ‘53 created an endowment directed at maintaining and developing the gardens and surrounding trails at the Arboretum in keeping with his deep fondness for natural areas and horticulture. It was Don’s wish to give something back to the OAC, and Lois was honoured to become a member of the Order of OAC on behalf of her late husband. 

2009

F. Thomas Cowan, B.Sc.(Agr.) 1965 and Joanne M. Cowan, MAC BHSc 1967 – Together, Tom Cowan and his wife Joanne made a visionary gift of a life insurance policy directed to the OAC Alumni Foundation.  It was established to provide undergraduate OAC students with funding for travel to enrich experiential learning opportunities in their individual fields of study. 

Clayton M. Switzer, BSA 1951 – Former dean of OAC (1972-83), Clay Switzer has been a significant supporter of countless OAC projects including scholarships, recognition funds, class projects such as the OAC ’51 gardens in the Conservatory, the OAC Teaching Trust, and the OAC Alumni Foundation. Clay was the University of Guelph Alumnus of Honour in 1985, and recipient of the Alumni Volunteer Award in 2001. 

2008

Alexander F. Henry*, BSA 1951 – Alex Henry’s many gifts over the years have supported numerous projects within OAC, including renovations to the Plant Agriculture/Land Resource Science project which helped create the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre, the OAC ’51 gardens in the Conservatory, the OAC Learning Trust and the OAC Alumni Foundation. These contributions have created an outstanding legacy of leadership. 

2007

Patricia L. Seyfried*, BSA 1957, M.Sc. 1959 Jan A. Seyfried, MSA 1956 – Pat Seyfried served as chair of the OAC Alumni Foundation from 1997 to 1999, and Jan was a long-time volunteer advisor to the Foundation’s investment portfolio. Both provided leadership gifts to the OAC ’57 Reunion Project which was directed to the new Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre. The Seyfrieds also placed a very high value on the education and friendships gained at OAC and were proud to give back through a provision in their wills to support the OAC Alumni Foundation.

2004

Donald M. Rutherford, BSA 1951 – Don Rutherford is a strong advocate for the University and has given back continuously and generously. His vision for “an oasis of beauty and tranquility” became the driving force behind the Rutherford Conservatory restoration project on campus. Don continues to support this landmark, its gardens and plant collection, as well as the OAC Alumni Foundation and a host of other important projects and endowments.    

2003

Kenneth G. Murray*, BSA 1950, Hon.DLaw, 1996 – Ken Murray has long embraced the philosophy of giving back. The University is blessed with countless meaningful examples of his commitment to the highest level of philanthropic leadership.  He is also a champion of student leadership development and enjoys helping young individuals who will make a difference in the world.

2002

Patricia L. Mighton, BSA 1964, MSc 1993 and Dennis C. Mighton, BSA 1964 – Pat and Dennis Mighton honoured their special attachment to OAC through a legacy gift of a life insurance policy to the OAC Alumni Foundation. This was their way of giving back to the place where they first met. Both have led active lives contributing to their communities and to OAC as volunteers, and they are proud to make this commitment to supporting the future of OAC.

Gordon L.E. Nixon*, BSA 1937 – Gord Nixon had a legendary association with the University, spanning seven decades. He was an active alumnus, a meaningful contributor to the success of the University and its students, and the proud Honorary Chair of the OAC Alumni Foundation, after having served as chair for an unprecedented fourteen years. Gord’s gift to the Foundation was unrestricted to allow the Foundation to allocate it in support of a range of endeavours. 

2000

William L. Campbell, BSA 1955, M.Sc. 1957 Dorothy I. Campbell*, MAC BHSc 1955 – Both Bill and Dorothy Campbell were long-time supporters of OAC, and in particular the class of OAC ’55. Their endowment gift allows proceeds to be directed to the priority needs of the college as determined by the dean.  Bill always spoke proudly of his affiliation with OAC and it was his idea to create the Order of OAC lapel pin to spark conversation among others about opportunities for giving back. 

1999

N. Richard Richards*, BSA 1938 Mary K. Richards* – Dr. Rick Richards and his wife Mary were proud to become the first two members of the Order of OAC at the Alumni Weekend Golden Anniversary Dinner in 2000. Dr. Richards served as OAC Dean from 1962 to 1972 and believed strongly in supporting the enhancement of student learning experiences. Through the OAC Alumni Foundation, the Richards Learning Trust endowment supports numerous graduate and undergraduate student projects each year.