Sept. 24, 2021
For Immediate Release
Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University’s Alumni Association (WLUAA) honoured the recipients of its most prestigious awards at a virtual event on Thursday, Sept. 23.
“These recipients enrich the student experience and positively contribute to Laurier’s reputation,” said WLUAA President Ryan Smith (BBA ’98), who hosted the evening’s award ceremony. “These recipients embody what Laurier strives to instill in all of its graduates: the value of leading a life of leadership and purpose.”
The Alumni Awards of Excellence are bestowed annually thanks to the dedicated efforts of volunteer WLUAA board members who make the awards possible.
The Alumni Awards of Excellence recognize achievements of alumni, students and friends who have made significant contributions to the Laurier community.
“The Awards of Excellence is a special event as it allows us to hear about and celebrate the real impact Laurier alumni are making in the world,” said Laurier President and Vice-Chancellor Deborah MacLatchy. “All of this year’s recipients have taken the knowledge and skills they gained at Laurier to make the world a better place. In doing so, they bring great pride to our university.”
Learn more about the Awards of Excellence, and find nomination information, on the Laurier Alumni website.
Congratulations to this year’s recipients:
Student Alumnus/a of the Year: Teresa Bennett (B.Sc. ’21) and Eric Sanderson
While studying at Laurier, Bennett served as the Student Alumni Association (SAA) (Waterloo campus) president and volunteered as the president of Laurier’s Black Medical Leaders of Tomorrow. She also volunteered for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Grand River Hospital as a student.
Sanderson, currently in his fourth year at Laurier, is the current SAA president (Brantford campus). He led the SAA through the pandemic with innovation and collaboration at the fore. Sanderson led many engagement opportunities for students and serves as an exceptional ambassador for Laurier Alumni across campus.
Entrepreneurial Spirit: Matt Schnarr (BA ’97) and Adam Deremo (BBA ’01)
Schnarr and Deremo are co-founders of AWAKE Caffeinated Chocolate and are both longtime supporters of the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics. Their pitch for AWAKE Chocolate on Dragon’s Den is considered among the “Den’s Best.” Throughout their successful entrepreneurial journeys, Scharr and Deremo have remained steadfast Laurier supporters and champions.
Award for Community Impact: T'áncháy Redvers (MSW ’19)
Redvers is the co-founder of We Matter, an Indigenous youth-led and nationally registered organization dedicated to Indigenous youth support, hope and life promotion. They published a book of poetry, Fireweed, with stories of trauma and the realities that Indigenous youth face. They are also a model and spokesperson representing Indigenous youth for Nordstrom.
Young Alumna of the Year: Emin Nawaz (B.Sc. ’18)
This exceptional young alumna has demonstrated her leadership in combating climate change through the HealthADAPT program. Nawaz is the co-chair of Health Canada’s Climate Change and Innovation Bureau Mental Health and Wellness Committee and was named the recipient of Health Canada’s Director General’s “Above and Beyond” Award.
Alumnus of the Year: Bob Armstrong (BA ’65)
Armstrong is the founder emeritus of Focus Asset Management, the vice-president of Marion Armstrong Charitable Foundation and a longtime supporter of the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics. He is a highly respected investment manager in institutional and retail sales. He founded several successful companies and is known as one of Canada’s foremost asset managers for high-net worth individuals and foundations. Throughout, Bob has done so much to make our university and our communities proud.
Forever Golden Hawk: Jeff Gadway (BBA ’07)
Described by one nominator as a true Golden Hawk through and through, Gadway is co-founder of Galvanize Worldwide. He is a sought-after marketing leader with experience spanning field, corporate, digital, social and product marketing. He has served as a mentor for Laurier’s StartUp Lab (formerly LaunchPad), Laurier's incubator in the Lazaridis School of Business & Economics, an ‘honorary' alumni teaching assistant, a judge for both the Pepsi Pitch and New Venture competitions, a guest speaker in entrepreneurship classes and a convocation speaker.
Honorary Alumni (posthumous): Dr. Glen Carruthers
The former dean of the Faculty of Music who passed away in December 2020, Carruthers was the driving force behind Laurier’s current Making Space for Music fundraising campaign and was a beloved role model, leader and friend to thousands of Laurier students and alumni.
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