It was a triumphant evening for any fan of science, technology – or TV’s The Big Bang Theory – as Lorne Trottier, BEng’70, MEng’73, DSc’06, received the McGill Alumni Association’s (MAA) Award of Merit at this year’s edition of the MAA’s annual Honours and Awards banquet. He was presented with the MAA’s top honour by Principal and Vice-Chancellor Suzanne Fortier.
“I am an avid science and technology geek and proud of it,” says Trottier.
Affable, modest and generous, Trottier has a long history of involvement with McGill through his philanthropy and volunteer roles as a member of the Faculty of Engineering Advisory Board, former Co-Chair of the Faculty of Science Advisory Board, Governor Emeritus, and an adjunct professor in the Department of Physics. In 2000, Trottier made an exceptionally generous donation of $10 million to inaugurate the Lorne M. Trottier Building, now home to Electrical and Computer Engineering and the School of Computer Science. Since then he has continued to contribute to McGill through a succession of generous gifts.
“When I enrolled as an undergraduate at McGill, I was fortunate to receive a four-year scholarship,” he said recently. “Both before and ever since I have felt a need to give back to McGill and to society. I am fortunate to be in a position to do so.”
More than 300 guests, including McGill Chancellor Michael Meighen and Chair of the Board of Governors, Ram Panda, attended the annual banquet, a highlight of the MAA’s calendar, recognizing the outstanding achievements of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the University.
This year’s event, which took place on May 8 at the Omni Mont-Royal Hotel in Montreal, showcased the achievements of 21 honorees including Distinguished Service Award recipient, Sylvia Piggott, BA’77, MLS’79, and D. Lorne Gales Special Recognition Award winner, McGill Director of Admissions and tireless student supporter, Kim Bartlett, BA’78, MA’84.
Smoked meat and scholarships
Audience members learned how a chance meeting over a smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz’s led successful entrepreneur Rubin Gruber, BSc’65, DSc’14, to a long history of giving back to McGill. Gruber was recognized with the Alumni Student Engagement Award for his exceptional generosity creating scholarships and research opportunities for Engineering and Science students, as well as his dedication to mentorship.
The resilient and ever-popular McGill Book Fair, represented by team leaders Anne Williams, BSc’69, and Susan Woodruff, BA’68, MEd’73, MA’84, earned Charles H. Peters Alumni Group of the Year honours.
Madeline Cathcart-Bohr, BA’71, and Bernhard Duechting, MSc’83, Co-Presidents of McGill’s Alumni Association of Germany. returned to campus to receive the Robert Fung International Award of Distinction, while Calgary’s Omar Masood, BEng’08, received the Catherine Nance Common President of the Year Award. Closer to home, classmates from the Faculty of Engineering Class of 1975 attended in force to receive the E.P. Taylor Award.
The Alumni Event of the Year Award went to A Celebration in Honour of Dr. Alice Benjamin, the brainchild of Lorne Lieberman, BA’94, planned as the kick-off to a fundraising drive to establish the Dr. Alice Benjamin Fund for global maternal health.
Glass ceiling-busting executive Kathleen Taylor, LLD’17, received the Honorary Life Membership Award for her accomplishments. As Chair of the Royal Bank of Canada’s Board of Directors, she made history as the first woman to lead a major chartered bank in Canada and shares her expertise and support with students at McGill.
Global alumni network
Dr. Donald Sheppard, founding Director of McGill Interdisciplinary Initiative in Infection and Immunity (Mi4) research initiative, received the David Johnston Faculty & Staff Award for leading the highly collaborative research efforts to tackle grand challenges in infections and immunity. Dorothy Thomas-Edding, DipPT’62, DipOT’63, BScP&OT’64, DipEd’73, MScA’75, a four-time graduate of McGill’s School of Physical & Occupational Therapy where she was a lecturer, professor and consultant for over thirty years, received the Honora Shaughnessy McGill Ambassador Award.
Dave D’Oyen, BA’13, received the James G. Wright Award for his many community roles including Equity and Diversity Consultant with the City of Toronto, in addition to his volunteer efforts in Toronto for McGill Rendezvous, Send-Off and alumni events.
The Honours and Awards Class of 2019 also includes six students: Christine Ha, BSc(NutrSc)’18, MSc’21 in progress; Mallory Anne Laframboise, BSc’12, BSc(Kinesiology)’14, DMD’19; Xin Mei Liu, MDCM’19; Matthew McLaughlin, BCom’21 in progress; Olivia Monton, BSc’12, BSc(AgEnvSc)’16, MDCM’20 in progress, and André Moreau, BCL/LLB’19. Each received a Gretta Chambers Student Leadership Award for contributions to the University and the community.
Selected by the MAA Honours and Awards Committee, these award-winning volunteers lead McGill’s international network of alumni branches, make a difference in communities on campus and around the world, and contribute to McGill through dedicated service to the University.