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Trent University Announces 2017 Alumni Award Recipients

August 25, 2017

President’s luncheon celebrates alumni presence in Peterborough community

Trent Alumni gather for a photo celebrating outstanding achievement by Trent University Graduates

Two of Trent University’s brightest young alumni were honoured at a special luncheon hosted by Trent President Leo Groarke on Tuesday, August 22, at Alumni House, which brought together Peterborough-based alumni from across five decades of Trent history to celebrate the impact of Trent alumni on the Peterborough community

At the event, which aimed to spark discourse on continued alumni involvement in the Peterborough region, the 2017 Trent University Alumni Association Young Alumni Leader Award winners were also celebrated. Brianna Salmon, executive director of GreenUP, and Robert Gauvreau, president/CEO of Gauvreau & Associates Chartered Professional Accountants, were both recognized for their leadership and accomplishments.

“I think one of the greatest contributions that Trent makes to this community is through the leadership of our alumni,” said Julie Davis, vice-president of Advancement and External Affairs at Trent University. “One of the things we are trying to promote is the notion that it is never too early to start contributing; you can start both while you are attending Trent and when you graduate. There is nothing to stop you from being a leader – as these award winners so wonderfully exhibit. We’re seeing that many of the successes in our community are due to the contributions of very energetic young people – and it is not surprising that many of those are Trent alumni.”

“It’s an honour for Trent to be able to recognize Bob and Brianna with Young Alumni Leader Awards,” noted Lee Hays, director of Alumni Affairs. “They have established themselves so early in their careers as leaders in the Peterborough community. Their contributions have been far reaching and will leave a lasting impact. The University is proud of their accomplishments and pleased to be able to shine this light on two graduates who are excellent role models for today’s students.” 

For the first time ever, the 2017 Alumni Awards at Trent are being presented over multiple ceremonies. While the Young Alumni Leader Awards were handed out at the Trent University Symons Campus, other 2017 awards will be presented to honourees in their own communities across Canada. It is expected that future Alumni Awards, honouring international graduates, will be delivered at events around the world. This new format will allow even more alumni to be involved in recognizing Trent’s outstanding graduates.

Whether through their volunteer activities or their career choices, each of this year's Alumni Award recipients have generously devoted their time, energy, and skills to serving both Trent University and the broader communities in which they live. Alumni are being honoured in three award categories: the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Spirit of Trent Award, and the Young Leader Award.

The 2017 Alumni Award recipients include:

Brianna Salmon '10

Best known in Peterborough as the executive director for GreenUP, Brianna Salmon has been instrumental in creating and helping grow programs such as B!KE: The Peterborough Cycling Hub, the Peterborough Pulse festival, and the Active Neighbourhoods Canada Peterborough Project.

Most recently, Brianna Salmon has been a key driver behind a multi-sector coordinating committee’s application to have the Peterborough-Kawartha-Haliburton region recognized as a UNESCO Regional Centre of Excellence in Sustainability Education.

Bob Gauvreau '01

As a chartered accountant, entrepreneur, and business leader, Mr. Gauvreau has been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2010 Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award for Entrepreneurship; the Peterborough This Week Readers’ Choice award for best accountant in both 2011 and 2012; and the 2017 Peterborough This Week Reader’s Choice Diamond Award Winner for accountant and Platinum Award winner in the category of accounting firm. In 2014, he was named as a Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Top 4 under 40 business leader. In 2016 he was named Canada’s only affiliate of Tony Robbins’ business advisory team.

Mr. Gauvreau’s volunteer efforts include work with the Accounting program at Fleming College and a role as founding member of the H.O.P.E. Foundation. He is a founding member of Venture North business incubation program.

Distinguished Alumni Award: Garry Cubitt ’67

Mr. Cubitt has worked with the Region of Durham since its formation, becoming chief administrative officer in 1993. For more than 46 years he has served the public sector, beginning his career as a social worker.

With over 4,500 employees under his leadership, Mr. Cubitt’s guidance has been instrumental in meeting the increasing demands of a region that is growing exponentially. During his time as CAO, Durham Region has grown from 203,925 households with a population of 606,750 in 2008 to 224,810 households and a total population of 658,175 in 2017.

Among his volunteer efforts, Mr. Cubitt was the founding chair of the Board of University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), is former chair of the Durham College Board of Governors, and currently sits on Trent University’s Board of Governors. Most recently, he was instrumental in helping develop the Trent University Alumni Association’s strategic directions plan.

Spirit of Trent Award: Caleb Smith '93

The driving force behind the Trent University Rugby booster club, Caleb Smith has helped raise a significant amount of financial support for the operation of the current rugby program. Mr. Smith was the chair of the hugely successful Trent Rugby 50th Anniversary event. He has also maintained a leadership role in Ontario rugby as a player, coach, convener, and member of the Ontario Rugby Union Board of Directors.

Mr. Smith was a lead organizer for the Trent 50th Anniversary Athletics Reunion. He has been president of the Niagara Chapter of the Alumni Association for the past decade

Spirit of Trent Award: Robin Quantick '78

A member of Trent’s Board of Governors, Mr. Quantick has served on several prominent board committees during his tenure, notably Nominating and Governance; Finance and Property; Investment and Pension; and Audit. He was also an integral member of both the Presidential Advisory Committee in 2013 and the Presidential Search Committee in 2014. Mr. Quantick is a long time active member of the Trent Alumni Association, including service on its executive.

Away from Trent, Mr. Quantick has been recognized by the Frontenac Heritage Society for his work in heritage preservation in the Kingston area, notably in heritage building restoration. He has offered his consultancy services pro bono to Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Mr. Quantick helped found Project Beyshick, a youth mentoring program focused on business career development for Aboriginal Canadians aged 21 to 35 years. He continues to take an active role in the project.

Spirit of Trent Award: Dr. Spencer J. Harrison '97

As an advocate for inclusion, support, and basic human rights for LGBTQ and marginalized communities, Dr. Harrison marries public activism with personal mentorship and guidance. Recently named the Ontario director for Camp fYrefly, he will be instrumental launching this first-of-its kind program in Ontario – to be held at Trent this upcoming summer.

With an extensive list of teaching positions, exhibitions, and residencies, Dr. Harrison’s passion for art and activism has touched thousands of lives. His impressive list of awards includes: The Kenner Collegiate Wall of Honour; the OCAD University BLG Equity Teaching Award; the OCAD Non-Tenured Teaching Award; and the OISE/U of Toronto Artist-in-Residence, Education and Innovation Award.