GPRC Alumni/Foundation Awards
Members of the public and the College community are invited to submit nominations for the following Alumni Awards by completing and submitting the provided nomination form. Deadline is December 31 each year.
Distinguished Alumni Award
The most prestigious award of the GPRC Alumni/Foundation, this award was established to recognize GPRC alumni for outstanding accomplishments in their professions, and/or in service to their community, society or GPRC. The Distinguished Alumni is an example of alumni success for current and future GPRC students.
Steps to the Greater Alumni Award
Recognizes the outstanding achievements of GPRC alumni early in their careers or community service. 2013 was the inaugural year for this award.
Alumni Award of Excellence
Recognizes specific, recent accomplishments of GPRC alumni (in approximately the last 12 months prior to the nomination deadline). The accomplishments may take the form of local, national or international honors, major championships, appointments to high office, etc.
2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient: Ian Macdonald
||Ian Macdonald graduated with honours from the first class of the Alberta School of Agriculture, Fairview, in 1953. During the 20 plus years following his graduation, he was a prominent member of numerous Alberta and North Peace agricultural cooperatives and committees. He is widely known for having helped the Alberta cattle industry earn its international reputation for high quality beef.
In 1978, Mr. Macdonald was appointed to a six year term as the Chair of Fairview College’s first board of governors. Returning in 1987 at the request of the Minister of Advanced Education, he became the longest serving board chair in the history of Alberta’s college system. Under his leadership, the college successfully navigated a change in its governance structure and enjoyed exponential growth while remaining on a solid financial footing. The College’s programming expanded from agricultural studies to include trades/ full apprenticeship programs, and specialty programs though Mr. Macdonald gives great credit to the administration and staff of the time for these accomplishments. Ian was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence in 1997, the same year Fairview College awarded Mr. Macdonald an honorary diploma for outstanding service to the college and the community of Fairview. He also received the Canada 125 Confederation Medal in recognition of his work on the college’s Board of Governors.
2013 Steps to the Greater Alumni Award Recipient: Michael Reeve
||Having a passion for entrepreneurship, Michael took the Business Administration program at GPRC, where in one of his courses, students were tasked with writing a complete business plan for a fictitious company. Mike based his business plan on a company that he was hoping to start, involving extreme sports filmmaking. Graduating from GPRC in 2004 with a Business Administration Certificate and a full business plan to take to the bank, in 2005, at the age of 20, he incorporated, Velocity Video Productions Ltd.
Capitalizing on the demand for safety and training videos in the oil & gas industry, Mike expanded into the files of commercial business, government and not-for-profit agencies to name a few. Being a one man enterprise, during the winter months, Mike returns to his original passion of filming professional snowmobiling for several large American companies in the remote B.C. backcountry. In the summer months, he can be found hanging out of a helicopter chasing race boats down the river for the Canadian circuit of jet boat racing. In 2011 he produced the World Jet Boat Championships film and was later invited to New Zealand to film their races on the south island. In 2007, at the age of 22, Michael was nominated for “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” by the Grande Prairie Chamber of Commerce. Michael credits GPRC’s faculty and staff with kickstarting his career and business, allowing him to live his dream.
Download Nomination Form- Deadline December 31st
The nominees must be alumni of GPRC. The candidates have demonstrated oustanding excellence in his/her profession, community or society and is therefore an example of alumni excellence for GPRC. Alumni currently serving the College as Board members are not eligible.
Nominations will be accepted from the public and the College Community. Nominations will be reviewed and selected by a committee of the Alumni/Foundation Board. The recipients will be contacted in advance so he/she may attend the event to receive their award.
Distinguished Alumni Honorees
Distinguished Alumni Award 2012: Dr. Gary Borstad
Mr. Borstad was among the charter class of 66 students in 1966/67 when the Grande Prairie Junior College was established. He enrolled in university transfer science and then went on to complete a Bachelor of Science in zoology and chemistry at the University of Alberta. In 2011, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society awarded him with the prestigious Francois J. Saucier Prize in Applied Oceanography.
Distinguished Alumni Award 2011: Senator Dennis Patterson
In the fall of 1966 when the Grande Prairie Junior College opened its doors, Dennis Patterson was one of 101 charter students. Soon after Dennis would be taking a leadership role as the first Students’ Executive President; a role that helped to lay the groundwork for what the College is today. He was named to the Senate of Canada by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on August 27, 2009.
Distinguished Alumni Award 2010: Mr. Joseph Redhead
Joe first enrolled at GPRC in 1983-84, but with few supports in place for aborignal students at the time, he struggled and had to drop out. Returning to GPRC in 1996, he completed his Associate Science credential in 1998, going on to complete his BSc in Nursing at the U of A in 2002. As Nurse in Charge at Sturgeon Lake First Nation, Joe fulfills a huge and demanding role with his strong medical skills and “the art of humanity”. Joe has served on the Board of the GP Friendship Centre, and is a strong advocate for the on-campus Friendship Centre at GPRC. He is part of the Youth Justice Committee through Native Counselling Services of Alberta and was recently recognized as a Home Town Hero by the City of Grande Prairie.
Distiguished Alumni Award 2009: Dr. Marie Moreau
Dr. Marie Moreau is an inspiration to the northern Alberta student. She completed the first 14 years of her education in the small classes of her high school and her first two years of pre-med at GPRC, receiving the Valedictorian award in 1982. She went on to successfully complete her MD in the Department of Medicine, U of A. Returning to the Peace Country, she has practiced for some 25 years in general medicine and oncology and is currently the Director of the Grande Prairie Cancer Clinic at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital. An accomplished pianist, she is frequently in demand as an accompanist, and plays both for her church and for the GP Boys Choir. Her three sons are all members of the Choir and Marie has served on the Board.
Distinguished Alumni Award 2008: Darlene Horseman
In her early years, Darlene took on many roles for the Horse Lake Band, becoming Band Manager, then transferring into the Land Administrator role. Once a new Band Council was elected, Darlene enrolled at GPRC where she began upgrading for her high school diploma. While upgrading, she discovered that she would be required to obtain a degree before she would be admitted into Law School, so she decided to pursue a degree in Education. She transferred into the Teacher Education North program, achieving her BEd in 2008. Darlene was appointed to the GPRC Board of Governors in 1997 and served two terms. After teaching for a couple of years Darlene hopes to move to Saskatoon and get her Law Degree.
Distinguished Alumni Award 2007: Robert J. (Bob) Maclean
Robert MacLean is a respected corporate and community leader, who has generously contributed of his personal success to encourage and support the efforts of others. Bob completed his Business Administration diploma at GPRC in 1972 and went on to earn his Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Alberta. Currently, he is Chairman of the Board and Director of the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club, and Co-chair of the University of Alberta Campaign 2008. As a volunteer fundraiser, advisory board member, and donor, Bob has contributed tirelessly to educational institutions of northern Alberta, including GPRC.
Distinguished Alumni Award 2006: Koralee Samaroden
Koralee Samaroden completed two years of her Bachelor of Physical Education at GPRC, then transferred to the University of Alberta, to finish her degree. Dedicated to making her community a better place to live, she proudly performs the role of Community Development Coordinator with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, coordinating recreation & leisure programs for the residents in the region. Koralee Samaroden encourages others, by her example, to participate and volunteer in their chosen fields, offering expertise to their communities. She is dedicated to giving back all that was given to her and her enthusiasm is infectious.
Distinguished Alumni Award 2005: Willie deWit
In 1978, a High School research project introduced deWit to the sport of boxing, and it quickly became his passion. deWit went on to be ranked number 5 in the world with a professional boxing career of 67 wins and 12 losses that included the North American Amateur Heavyweight championship, the World Amateur Heavyweight title and a silver medal for Canada in the 1984 Olympics. Upon his retirement from boxing in 1987, he enrolled in pre-law at GPRC and has given credit to the College as “the perfect place for me to learn how to learn again…” He attended GPRC from 1989-1991, going on to graduate from the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta and has been practicing law in Calgary ever since.
Distiguished Alumni Award 2004: Dr. Cora Voyageur
A member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Cora began her academic life as a student of GPRC in 1986. She chose to pursue a career in Sociology, and became the first First Nations woman to earn a doctorate from the University of Alberta. Today, her research explores the Aboriginal experience in Canada and is widely published in journals and books. She has received numerous awards for her work, that has added immeasurably to the awareness of the contributions of First Nations people in Alberta, Canada, and internationally. Among her dozens of conference presentations was that to the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues workshop in New York City in January 2004.