The path that took me to Lakehead University was different than most. Before starting out in 1981 as Athletics Facilities Supervisor at the Thunder Bay campus (and for a period as Campus Recreation Coordinator), I was an RCMP officer, stationed mostly in Western Canada, and I continue to be a member of the RCMP Veteran Association to this day.
During my 27-year career at Lakehead, I had the pleasure of working with many students and was able to interact with them personally on a daily basis. As a result, I learned what was really important to them during their educational stay.
My wife Lucille and I have three children, two of whom are Lakehead graduates. Perhaps it was our children’s thirst for learning that inspired me to complete a Bachelor of Arts in 1998. In any case, I learned what university student life was all about, and over the years, this knowledge assisted me in my career with the Department of Athletics. I am proud to say that in 2009, I received the Ontario University Association (OUA) J. P. Loosemore Award presented to individuals in recognition of major contributions through administrative work within university sport. This honour was especially important to me because the selection was made by my peers.
Previously I had served two (two-year) terms as a director on the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association while I was employed at the University. During that time, I was a member of various committees connected with Alumni activities.
I am very excited and inspired as an alumnus by the growth of the institution at both the Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses. I am honoured to serve as President of the Alumni Association during this particular time in the University’s growth and development, and I see my position as a way of giving back and helping the University realize its strategic goals.
In the Fall/Winter issue of this Magazine, Rob Jamieson reported on the Alumni Chapters, and I am pleased to report these Chapters are growing. This past January, the Board held a strategic planning session, out of which emerged some sound ideas. These included increasing the services that the Association provides for Alumni, and playing a more active role with current university students to enhance their school experience from start to finish. Examples of the long- term accomplishments in this plan were for the Association to play a lead role in the upcoming 50th Anniversary of the University, and for the Alumni Association to find ways to establish itself as a national organization that communicates on a regular basis with all Alumni. I believe this planning session identified reasonable goals and a direction for the future.
My personal goal is to ensure the Alumni Association continues to enrich the students’ experience on campus, whether that is through Alumni-sponsored events, services made available through our affinity partners, or merely coffee and conversation. The important point is to engage our students and graduates at all stages of their lives. And I encourage you to start becoming involved with your Alumni Association by visiting our website at www.lakeheadualumni.ca
More than 100 Lakehead alumni joined Lakehead President Brian Stevenson to attend a Senators’ hockey game in Ottawa last February