Distinguished Alumni Awards
The Laurentian University Alumni Association presents the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awards, a program developed to truly showcase the impressive achievements of Laurentian University alumni and friends, and demonstrates the commitment and impact they have in their communities. The revamped programming, newly presented in 2018, serves to promote Laurentian University to prospective students, to reconnect graduates and continue to build a sense of community after graduation.
We're also introducing a *NEW* award category, celebrating 60 years of alumni, appropriately named the Legacy Award, open to students, faculty, staff and alumni. This person should be a snapshot of Laurentian University values and has left a legacy at Laurentian University and has proudly represented Laurentian University values in their career.
We are celebrating our award recipients and the 60th Anniversary of Laurentian University with a commemorative magazine in March 2021, culminating in the end of Laurentian University’s 60th year.
Nominations closed October 2, 2020 for the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awards. Stay connected for future updates.
#Imagine2023 - Laurentian University’s Strategic Plan - is about demonstrating the shared values and strengths that make us who we are. They are impressive on their own, but taken together, they tell a powerful story about who we are and all we have to offer. In celebration of our 60th anniversary, LUAA recognizes that these values are the foundation of the lifelong relationships we strive to build with our alumni, students and all contributors to the Laurentian community.
Our shared values and strengths (LU Strategic Plan, 2018-2023)
- The North inspires us;
- Student success is our success;
- Teaching and Learning define us;
- Curiosity drives our Research; and
- Relationships are our priority.
This award is open to all members of the Laurentian community, including:
- Graduating student;
- Alumna or alumnus;
- Current or past faculty member;
- Donor; or
- Individual demonstrating a clear connection to the university.
This legacy award recognizes an individual who embodies these shared values, making significant positive and lasting impacts in their community and to the Laurentian experience.
Description: Laurentian University Alumni Association aims to celebrate alumni who have achieved recognized success in their professional activities, their community endeavours or in making significant contributions to Laurentian University and the Laurentian University Alumni Association. The Alumni Honour Award is intended to foster alumni relations and to create an Alumni Honour community. There may be multiple awards each year under this category.
Description: Laurentian University alumni have attained and maintained national and international recognition of excellence in their service to a profession, a sector of activity and/or a community during their entire career, and most importantly beyond the recognition of a single remarkable achievement. The Distinguished Leadership Award is Laurentian University Alumni Association’s highest honour. Only one recipient will be awarded in any given year.
Alumna or Alumnus who has created a new process, product, service, or organization
Description: Laurentian University alumni embody an entrepreneurial spirit that has generated significant impact within their profession, community or society-at-large by leading innovative programs, research, processes, products, services or businesses. The Trailblazer Award celebrates the innovative spirit that actively seeks change rather than waiting to adapt to change, a spirit of making things better that is promoted and celebrated within Laurentian University.
Alumna or Alumnus who has graduated 10 years ago, or less
Description: Laurentian University prides itself on providing the very best academic programs and co-curricular activities to help launch its graduates to promising futures. The Rising Star Achievement Award recognizes those alumni who achieved an exceptional level of distinction, creative leadership and contribution to their profession or to their community, even before reaching the midpoint of their professional career. These significant achievements bring distinction to themselves, credit to the University, and real benefit to their communities.
Special consideration to community members, including non-alumni, that volunteer directly or on behalf of Laurentian University
Description: Laurentian University Alumni Association fosters a sense of belonging to the university and encourages alumni and non-alumni to devote their time and energy to supporting the university and building strong communities, being catalysts for change and progress. The Catalyst Award recognizes someone who is frequently rising to the occasion by providing extended and extraordinary service in unique ways:
- Supporting the academic success of Laurentian University students and their transition to careers;
- Spearheading important community initiatives;
- Possessing values that reflect those of the University.
Alumni Award of Distinction
- Recognizes the significant contributions made by a Laurentian University graduate in his/her local community.
- Alumni are recognized for distinguished outstanding achievements at the regional, national or international level in the areas of service to humanity, volunteer work, community service, professional contributions or the advancement of knowledge.
- Recipients of this award have become a source of pride to Laurentian University and the Laurentian University Alumni Association.
- The Laurentian University Alumni Association will make a donation of $750 in the name of the Alumni Award of Distinction recipient to a funding priority at Laurentian University designated by the recipient.
Alumni Young Leader Award
- Recognizes the outstanding achievements of a Laurentian University graduate under the age of 40.
- Young alumni are recognized for distinguished outstanding achievements at the regional, national or international level in the areas of service to humanity, volunteer work, community service, professional contributions or the advancement of knowledge.
- Recipients of this award become a source of pride to Laurentian University and the Laurentian University Alumni Association.
- The Laurentian University Alumni Association will make a donation of $250 in the name of the Alumni Young Leader Award recipient to a funding priority at Laurentian University designated by the recipient.
Student Recognition Award
- Recognizes the outstanding achievements of a current Laurentian University student (must be enrolled full or part time when nominated).
- Students must show outstanding achievement by raising the profile of Laurentian University through their academic achievements, involvement in University community or alumni initiatives.
- Students must participate in Laurentian University events and clubs.
- Students must show Laurentian spirit.
- The Laurentian University Alumni Association will make a donation of $250 in the name of the Student Recognition Award recipient to a funding priority at Laurentian University designated by the recipient.
2016 - Michelle Kennedy
Michelle Kennedy is from Oneida of the Thames First Nation and was raised in London, Ontario. She is a two-time Laurentian graduate with a Bachelor of Arts, Honours in Indigenous Studies from 2015 and a Bachelor of Education, which she received this week. She will be back at Laurentian in the fall to pursue a master’s degree in Indigenous Relations.
In the past, her passion for teaching, learning, and serving the community has taken her to Moose Factory, Ontario, where she facilitated a reading camp with Indigenous children. Her experience on the island was so rewarding it fueled her to devote her time to connecting with Indigenous communities in a positive way. In 2014, she traveled to volunteer on the coast of Ecuador to teach English while living in the community for a month with a host familMs. Kennedy is a member of the Lady Vees Varsity Cross-Country and Track team at Laurentian University. In 2013, she received the Most Improved Award for Cross-Country as well as the Academic All-Star. She then went on to become the Female Most Valuable Player of the Cross-Country team in 2015. This year she was awarded the Coaches Award for the Cross-Country Team and the Graduating Athlete award. This past cross-country season was one of her best as she placed 19th in the province at the Ontario University Athletic Championships in Waterloo, Ontario.
Ms. Kennedy also volunteers her time at various track events in Sudbury and coaches with the Track North Athletic club. The Laurentian University Alumni Association will make a donation in the name of Michelle Kennedy to the Cross Country Running Fund.
2015 - Vanessa Di Feo
Vanessa Di Feo is part of the 2015 graduating class with an Honour’s Bachelor of Arts degree with a specialization in Theatre Arts and a minor in Italian Language and Culture. Vanessa was recognized on the Dean’s list each year of her degree. She also received a wide range of awards and scholarships including the Xstrata Nickel national scholarship and the Carolyn Fouriezos prize.
Vanessa was very involved in the Laurentian University community taking on roles as Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, Writing Assistant and tutor. She also served as the Communications Secretary of LAWLU (the Law and Justice student organization) and as a writer of the Lambda. As part of her role as President of the Student Theatre Association, she founded and chaired the Annual Masquerade Ball for three years. She has recently travelled to Taiwan on a cultural exchange. In the fall of 2015, Vanessa will be attending law school. The Laurentian University Alumni Association will make a donation of $250 in the name of Vanessa DiFeo to Laurentian University’s Women’s Centre.
2014 - Elizabeth Urso
Elizabeth Urso is a member of Laurentian University’s graduating class of 2014, having completed a Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in English Literature and a minor in Law and Justice. She has been recognized on the Dean’s Honour list every year of her degree program and in 2012 was the recipient of the George M. Miller Proficiency Scholarship for achieving the highest academic standing after second year of a specialized Bachelor of Arts in English. Elizabeth is also an award-winning essayist, having won the Department of English’s Upper Year Essay writing prize in both 2012 and 2013.
Elizabeth has been an active volunteer. Between 20l2-2014 she was an active member of LAWLU, the Law & Justice student organization, and in her senior year, served as President of the organization. In this role, she has organized the first "Minute Mentoring" day for Law & Justice students to meet with legal and justice-related professionals in the local community, to find out more about their work, training pathways and potential future justice-related employment opportunities in the community.
She has assisted and undertaken a student leadership role at the 2012 and 2013 North Eastern Bar Association Annual Professional development conferences, and in 2013 and 2014 was a leader in organizing a two-day Field Trip for 20 students to Toronto, during which the group toured Osgoode Hall (Ontario Court of Appeal and Law Society of Upper Canada) and Ontario Courts of Justice. Students met with an Ontario Court of Justice judge, and in small groups attended and observed several court cases in progress, as well as the specialized Mental Health Court.
The Laurentian University Alumni Association will make a donation of $250 in the name of Elizabeth Urso to the Law and Justice program's student organization (LAWLU).
SHK Exceptional Alumni Award
Each year, the School of Human Kinetics honors two of its alumni during the spring convocation. Members of the School of Human Kinetics, including faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to nominate appropriate candidates for the selection committee's consideration. The purpose of the award is to recognize the important contribution the alumni have made to the field of human kinetics or to his/her community.
Nominations for the SHK Exceptional Alumni Award will be accepted until February 1 of the current academic year. Nominations can be submitted via email to: SHK@laurentian.ca. (Please note: In order to save the form, you must print it using your PDF Creator).
Laurentian Voyageurs Hall of Fame
The Alumni Voyageur Hall of Fame, created in 1994 by the Laurentian University Alumni Association, recognizes and honors former Laurentian University athletes, builders and teams who have made outstanding contributions to the Voyageur Athletic programs.
Candidates shall have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the Laurentian Athletics program.
Laurentian Connect, powered by Ten Thousand Coffees
What if every student and alumni from Laurentian University had five to fifteen new connections to learn, share, and grow?
Laurentian Connect is an online mentorship and networking program powered by Ten Thousand Coffees which matches alumni, students, and recent grads for inspiring career conversations over coffee.
Faculty of Management Alumni Portal
Reconnect with other Management Alumni from Laurentian University on the Faculty of Management portal!
The Laurentian University Alumni Association is aware that thousands of members of the extended Laurentian community volunteer within their communities and around the world. We believe that our students, alumni, staff, faculty and extended community can continue to devote one million hours of their time and we want to celebrate their benevolence.