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Date: October 05, 2012

Celebrating Five Decades of Excellence

The University of Victoria is hosting a 50th anniversary signature event on Oct. 16 to celebrate the university’s global, national and local community impact. A Celebration of 50 Years of Excellence will pay tribute to five remarkable individuals whose inspiring stories of personal and professional accomplishment serve to exemplify the university’s tradition of excellence. The event will also commemorate UVic’s 30-year partnership with East China Normal University (ECNU).

“The celebration of this historic partnership and these exceptional alumni who make a difference to the world around us is another opportunity to collectively mark our anniversary,” says Carmen Charette, UVic’s vice president of external relations. “It is also a chance to not only reflect on UVic’s past but to look ahead to its future influence on the betterment of society for generations to come.”

The five award recipients—whose achievements represent the university’s diverse range of academic and social strengths—are:

Stephanie Dixon - UVic strives to instill inspiration and perseverance. These qualities lie at the heart of the accomplishments of Paralympic swimmer and medal winner Stephanie Dixon.
Grand Chief Edward John (Akile Ch'oh) - UVic is dedicated to social justice and equal rights for all persons. Grand Chief Edward John (Akile Ch'oh), a Hereditary Chief of Tl'azt'en Nation, exemplifies these values and is a leading voice—locally, provincially and internationally—of Indigenous governance, business and community development.
Paul Nicklen - UVic values interdisciplinarity as a means of enriching our understanding of the world. Paul Nicklen, one of the world’s foremost nature photographers, uses the arts to translate science. His passion for documenting the effects of climate change aligns with UVic’s research focus in this area.
Alisa Smith - Sustainability is a commitment to future generations and is central to UVic’s mission. Alisa Smith personifies this commitment and has also captured the imagination of consumers in an innovative and very immediate way with the book The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating.
Tamara Vrooman - Educating socially responsible leaders is a UVic tradition. The health and wealth of society are inseparable, and the thoughtful leadership of Vancity’s president and CEO Tamara Vrooman in these areas is noteworthy.

 UVic’s long-standing partnership with ECNU, founded in 1951 and now one of China’s most prestigious universities, has enabled hundreds of students and faculty to move between the two institutions to develop deeper cultural understanding, enrich diversity and nourish skills crucial for engaged global citizens.

A Celebration of 50 Years of Excellence takes place at The Crystal Garden in downtown Victoria. The event is sold out.

Please read the attached backgrounder for the award recipients’ areas of study, dates their degrees were conferred and additional biographical detail.

Information on UVic’s 50th anniversary is available at www.uvic.ca/anniversary

Archival note:This year’s signature event celebrates UVic’s 50th anniversary and is in place of UVic’s yearly legacy awards program. The Legacy Awards, UVic’s annual gala celebration recognizing the achievements of distinguished alumni, were first presented in September 2002.

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Media contacts:

Joy Davis (Ceremonies & Events) at joydavis@uvic.ca or 250-721-7632
Denise Helm (Communications) at dhelm@uvic.ca or 250-721-7656


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UVic is celebrating its 50th anniversary Sept. 2012 to June 2013. Visit www.uvic.ca/anniversary for more info.


Backgrounders:
Celebration of Excellence Honorands

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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