Red Deerians take top honours at RDC graduation ceremony

Two local citizens were recently honoured during Red Deer College’s 47th Convocation Ceremony.

Peter Weddell was named Red Deer College’s 2011 distinguished alumnus and Paulette Hanna received the G.H. Dawe Memorial Award of Excellence during the convocation ceremonies last Friday.

Weddell was the very first RDC Students’ Association president in 1964 when the College was still a ‘Junior College’.

He is a lifelong advocate for a cleaner, safer, and friendlier community. He enjoyed a lifelong career in parks and recreation. In 1986, he was appointed to be the information officer for the Waskasoo Park System in the City of Red Deer. He then concluded his career as a bylaw officer for the City of Red Deer.

Perhaps the area Weddell has been most influential in has been with the environment. This will mark the 23rd year that he has organized the neighbourhood ‘Green Deer’.

He has also takes active interest in the Kerry Wood Nature Centre, ReThink Red Deer, issues relating to water and air quality, civic affairs and community development.

First presented in 1997, the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award was created to honour living Red Deer College alumni who have distinguished themselves in one or more areas including professional achievement, academic achievement and public service achievement.

Meanwhile, Hanna was recognized for her commitment to education, leadership and the community of Red Deer. She currently is the chief superintendent of schools for the Red Deer Catholic Regional Division.

Hanna has her Doctorate of Education in Education Leadership from the University of Calgary. She was awarded the City of Red Deer Woman of Excellence with Distinction award and was also winner of the National Canadian Association of School Administrators EXL Award in 2010.

The G.H. Dawe Memorial Award is presented each year to a community member who best exemplifies the values of the late George Harold Dawe (1910 – 1999).

The recipient has demonstrated excellence in characteristics held by Dawe. The College remembers Dawe for his contribution to the institution and to education in general.

He helped establish Red Deer College in 1964 and held the position of its first administrative officer. He also served the students as a sessional instructor in the community education department for many years. His commitment and dedication to education was outstanding and will serve as a model of lifelong learning for decades to come.

In addition, RDC honoured two students during its convocation ceremonies.

The Governor General’s Academic Medal was presented to Dilumi Kurugamage, a graduating student from the Business Administration Diploma program.

Kurugamage graduated with an overall GPA of 4.0 as well as 15 A+ grades throughout her two years at RDC.

This fall she will go to Mount Royal University to finish her Business Administration degree, while completing the requirements needed to go for the CGA position. She also plans to complete her MBA.

The Red Deer College Foundation Outstanding Student for 2011 was presented to Steven Kwasny, president for the Students’ Association at RDC and university transfer student from the Bachelor of Arts, Political Science program.

As SA president, he has raised the profile of the Students’ Association and the needs of students represented within RDC, the City and the province.

Kurugamage and Kwasny were part of an eligible 1,800 RDC students to graduate this year.