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Alumni Awards: Previous Recipients


Distinguished Alumni Award

Presented based on a person's achievement and leadership in their field. Recipients show leadership in business, industry, a profession or in public life. They have brought honour to Trent University through endeavors which have earned them prominence within their field.

Harvey McCue

A co-founder of Trent University’s Indian-Eskimo Studies Department (now the Chanie Wenjack School of Indigenous Studies), Professor McCue was a faculty member at Trent for 14 years. In 2015, he was inducted as an elder at Trent to honour his leadership in advancing Indigenous education, both within the university and across the country.

Over the past several decades, Prof. McCue has worked as a highly regarded consultant on Aboriginal education issues. Previous to this, he held several directorships, notably with educational services for the Cree School Board, the Mi’kmaq Education Authority, and the education branch of Indian and Northern Affairs in Ottawa – where he became the first Indigenous Director General in the history of the department.

Prof. McCue served two terms on Trent’s Board of Governors and has been named a Governor Emeritus by the University. He has a long history of leadership on boards and advisory councils spanning several sectors.

David James

Based out of his studio in Sutton, QC, David James is a celebrated Canadian sculptor, former journalist, and former management consultant. Through his artwork, Mr. James creates luminous sculptures cast in glass and bold exterior works carved in stone that often incorporate stainless steel. His sculptures have received international recognition and garnered a number of important awards, including the 2004 Museum of Arts & Design Award, New York City and designation of Outstanding Significance and National Importance of his work by the Canadian Department of Heritage.

Mr. James’ work has appeared in countless galleries and collections and have drawn the attention of numerous publications. They are included in 500 Glass Objects, A Celebration of Functional and Sculptural Glass (2006), and The Contemporary Glass Art of the World (2004), the first Chinese survey of international art glass.

Mr. James and his wife, Lili de Grandpré, have been exceptionally generous donors to Trent University. Gifts have included two companion scultures to the Trent University Art Collection: Portal is made up of an 8,000 pound granite piece on the slope outside Gzowski College and a smaller, though no less dramatic, amber lead crystal sculpture that resides in Bata Library.

Mr. James’ positive experience working with Trent on these gifts gave rise to to his vision of the Public Sculpture Initiative at the University. Since, 2012, Mr. James has been a passionate volunteer for the project.

He has also been an active volunteer for numerous other organizations, including the Ontario Crafts Council, Glass Art Association of Canada, and the Glass art Society of the United States.


Spirit of Trent Award

Presented to alumni who have made a difference, through contributions to the University, the alumni association or the community.

John Muir

While John Muir has been general manager of Trent Radio since 1995, his involvement hearkens back to his days as a student in the 1970s. He has demonstrated a lifelong commitment to the Trent and Peterborough communities, being part of the original incorporation of Trent Radio in 1978, assisting in the purchase of the Trent Radio building in 1985, as well as with numerous interactions on its behalf with the CRTC.

Mr. Muir was a founding Board member and instrumental force in the formation of the Peter Robinson Community and Student Association (Sadlier House Facility) and its efforts to repurchase Sadlier House following the closure of Peter Robinson College. He worked tirelessly as a part of an original trustee group to purchase the building and return it to a thriving hub of community activity. Mr. Muir was made an honorary Board member by the PRCSA in recognition of his significant contributions to Sadleir House (an honour shared only by founding Trent President THB Symons, and founding Master of Peter Robinson College, Richard Sadleir).

Through over 40 years of involvement in both Trent Radio and the PRCSA, Mr. Muir has given tirelessly of his time and energy to create vibrant and viable hubs of community activity. He has acted as a mentor to countless students.

Mr. Muir has long been involved in Peterborough’s arts and culture scene, contributing to organizations such as Folk Under the Clock, the Kawartha Jazz Society, and the annual In from the Cold series of fundraising concerts. He is an inductee of the Peterborough Pathway of Fame and has had a prize, The John K. Muir Prize, named after him at Trent.

Ann Farquharson

Extrememly active in her community, Ann Farquharson served a four-year term as Peterborough City Councillor from 2007 to 2010, and sat on the Board of Peterborough’s Downtown Business Improvement Area. She has also contributed extensively to a host of organizations, including the Festival of Lights, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Peterborough, Five Counties Children’s Centre, Peterborough Rotary Club, the Peterborough Law Association, and more than 25 others.

Ms. Farquharson continues to make an impact on the Trent community as well. She was Trent’s Human Rights lawyer for several years, providing legal advice on the rights and obligations of stakeholders and assisting in dispute resolutions and advanced solutions. In addition to the time she dedicates to mentoring young students, she liaises with the Advancement Office to inspire philanthropy within the Trent and Peterborough communities. She is also a philanthropist herself, having established a bursary in her late father’s name: The Gordon Henry Taylor Farquharson Bursary.

Ms. Farquharson has served in many Trent leadership positions, including stints on the Board of Governors, The Trent University Alumni Affairs Alumni Council, and as president of the Peterborough alumni chapter.


Young Leader Award

Recognizes young alumni who have shown outstanding leadership throughout their first 10 years of alumni status either in their professional career and/or community, public or humanitarian service and are 35 years of age or younger.

Andressa Lacerda

A native of Brazil, Andressa first came to Trent as an undergraduate student in 2008. After graduating in 2011 with a BSc in Biology, and a specialization in Health Sciences, she began work on her MSc at Trent.  Because of the advanced level of her research, she was converted to the PhD Environmental and Life Sciences program, which she completed in 2015. With her impressive research background, Andressa co-authored 6 publications and co-invented 2 US patents during her PhD.

While working as a TA and instructor, Dr. Lacerda found the time to mentor a local high school student, Adam Noble, in the use of complex microscopes to further develop his Science Fair project. This mentor relationship led Dr. Lacerda and Mr. Noble to found Noble Tech in 2013. Noble Tech evolved to Nobelgen Inc., an advanced ingredients company dedicated to developing cost-effective, naturally-derived ingredients for the human nutrition industry. She currently leads Noblegen’s growing team of over 40 people.

In 2017, Andressa won the Business Excellence Award for Newcomer Entrepreneur of the Year. Not only a dedicated and successful young entrepreneur, Andressa is an active community volunteer with many organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, and the Peterborough Agriculture Society. She is a passionate advocate for women in STEM, regularly participating in panels and public discussions.

For a full list of Alumni Award recipients, please click here.