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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 4, 2016
Canadian Excellence


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Laurier Toronto

A night to celebrate the pursuit of academic excellence

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Feb 4/11

Wilfrid Laurier University’s Awards of Distinction – the university’s most prestigious awards – were presented to some of Laurier’s best and brightest students last night.

More than 200 students, donors, faculty, staff, family and friends gathered as 38 Laurier students were honoured with Awards of Distinction certificates from 25 different awards and scholarships.

The evening’s keynote speaker was Paul Heinbecker, a Laurier alumnus and the former Canadian Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

A career diplomat, Heinbecker spoke about the importance of having imagination, vision and courage. “We live in a world of enormous opportunity,” he said. “And opportunities come to prepared minds.”

“Laurier’s annual Awards of Distinction ceremony celebrates both the pursuit of academic excellence and the generosity of the donors who believe in the transformative power of post-secondary education and who selflessly invest in students,” said Rob Donelson, Laurier’s vice-president of development and alumni relations. “It is a pleasure to honour Laurier students who embody the essence of our university’s mission: the importance of living a life of leadership and purpose.”

Awards of Distinction are among the most prestigious scholarships available to Laurier students and each award has a minimum value of $5,000. The university is grateful to the generous individuals, families and companies who make the Awards of Distinction possible.

Added to this year’s ceremony were a number of new Awards of Distinction, including: GCAN Insurance Award of Distinction, Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Students' Association Award of Distinction, Manfred and Penny Conrad Graduate Award of Distinction, William Nikolaus Martin Science Scholarships, Robert G. Rosehart Community Award, Venu Venugopal Award of Excellence and the John and Ann Weir Masters in Economics Scholarships.

Awards of Distinction and the student winners for 2011:


  • Marjorie H. Brown Scholarship in Chemistry - Caitlin Williamson
  • Marjorie H. Brown Scholarship in French - Kara Eckmier
  • CIBC Leaders in Entrepreneurship Award - Peter Li
  • Manfred and Penny Conrad Graduate Award of Distinction - Patricia Deek
  • Walter and Jean Hachborn Award of Distinction - Ethan Miller 
  • Beth Kidnie Memorial Award for Excellence in Student Leadership - Miranda Priestman 
  • Beth Kidnie Memorial Awards - Sadaf Qayumi and David Whyte
  • William Nikolaus Martin Science Scholarship - Nguyen Hoang, Rachael Diamond, Julia Tofan-Lazar and Holly Gray
  • Ken Murray Concerto Competition Award of Distinction - Gwendolyn Buttemer
  • Robert G. Rosehart Community Award - Codi Costello
  • Vasha Award - Kyle Gerow and Suzanne Glenn
  • Venu Venugopal Award of Excellence - Yao Xiao
  • Meta Voss Music Award - Stephanie Desjardins
  • John and Ann Weir Masters in Economics Scholarship - Wardah Naim and Ryan Rudorfer
  • Katherine Wong Mulholland Award - Danielle Cook


  • Garfield Weston Scholars Program - Kara Chiki, Jayne (Margaret) Hammond, Jessica Mcsavage and Shannon Walters
  • GCAN Insurance Award of Distinction - Riley Doolittle
  • Martin Business Administration Award of Distinction - Gabriel Platt
  • Merriam School of Music Award of Distinction - Heidi Wall
  • Scotiabank International Entrance Scholarship - Dhruv Agarwal, 
  • Alejandro Diaz-Loyola, Vinod Kumar, Ianna Lee-Inniss and Mohammad Saeed
  • Sun Life Financial "Bright Future" Award - William Schuurman and Benjamin Skinner 
  • Sybase iAnywhere Scholarship - Rahim Jiwani
  • Dr. John Weir Economics Awards of Distinction - Justin Maciel
  • Wilfrid Laurier University Graduate Students' Association Award of Distinction - Patricia Knobl


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