Memorial has announced the recipients of the 2013 Alumni Tribute Awards. The awards recognize Memorial graduates who have made an outstanding contribution to their professions, communities and to the university. All recipients were honoured on Monday, Oct. 21, during the 32nd Annual Alumni Tribute Awards in St. John's, NL.
Brendan John Paddick (B.Comm.(Co-op) ’86, MBA '94) is this year’s Alumnus of the Year award recipient. Mr. Paddick is chairman and chief executive officer of Columbus International Inc., a privately held corporation with Newfoundland and Labrador roots. Columbus is a leading provider of wholesale broadband capacity services and retail broadband-enabled services for commercial and retail customers with operations in the Caribbean, Latin America and North American markets. The transformation of the unreliable, disjointed and unorganized Caribbean and Latin telecom industry into the streamlined, efficient and cohesive Columbus network is continuing as Mr. Paddick and his team expand their reach into new geographies and with increased market penetration in existing areas.
Eleanor Anne Swanson (M.Ed.’77) is this year’s recipient of the J.D. Eaton Award that recognizes leadership and outstanding contributions to Memorial University. Ms. Swanson was twice elected to Memorial’s Board of Regents starting in 2005 and has since been an appointed board member. Throughout her tenure she has served with active distinction, as a member, acting chair and vice-chair, and even as the board representative on Memorial’s successful Dare To fundraising campaign. Ms. Swanson enjoyed a long career in the Department of Health as a director in health promotion, nutrition, planning and evaluation while being an active volunteer in both professional and community organizations. She has enhanced the stature, reputation and overall strength of Memorial through her volunteer work with the university. Ms. Swanson has also served as an ambassador to other organizations, institutions and the community.
Randy James Murphy (B.Comm.’72) is being recognized with the Alumni Award for Outstanding Community Service. Mr. Murphy has had a tremendous impact on tourism and communities throughout the Avalon region of the province and was the founding member of the East Coast Trail Association, where he served as president for 17 years. Today, East Coast Trail attracts more than 60,000 hiker visits, including local hiking enthusiasts and tourists from around the world. The trail has been recognized by National Geographic on two occasions: in 2010 the magazine ranked the Avalon Peninsula as the world’s No.1 coastal destination. In 2012 the publication identified the East Coast Trail as one of the top 10 adventure destinations in the world.
Francis (Frank) Perry Durnford (BA(Hons.)’03) will receive the Horizon Award, recognizing exceptional achievement by alumni under the age of 35. Upon graduation from Memorial’s Faculty of Arts, Mr. Durnford continued his law studies at the Dalhousie Law School, and is currently employed with Enbridge Pipelines. Mr. Durnford contributed to the community by chairing a United Way campaign for two years and volunteering with Habitat for Humanity initiatives. He is now the executive director of the non-profit group energy4everyone Foundation, whose mission is to alleviate poverty through increasing access to energy in developing countries. Mr. Durnford runs projects in Peru, Ghana and Tanzania, which give him the opportunity to experience first-hand the value of energy and the importance of corporate social responsibility.
“We’ve had many outstanding nominees this year,” said Brian King, chair of the Alumni Tribute Awards. “These individuals have given their time and passion to their communities and have made an exceptional impact on the lives of many people here at home and as far away at the Caribbean. I offer sincere congratulations to these outstanding individuals.”
The 32nd annual Alumni Tribute Awards ceremony took place on Monday, Oct. 21, at the Sheraton Hotel Newfoundland in St. John’s.
From left: Randy Murphy, Frank Dunford, Eleanor Swanson, Dr. Gary Kachanoski and Brendan Paddick.
Photo by Dennis Flynn