Alumni News

President's Message

Anne McLaughlin (VC'48-50)

As I will be stepping down in May, this will be my last president's message to you. I'm pleased to tell you that the board has accomplished much in the past two years and is not resting on its laurels for there are many projects in the works.

It has come to my attention that there is some confusion about membership in the Alumni Association. I want to set the record straight. Your are a member if you hold a degree, diploma or certificate from UVic, or have successfully completed fifteen units of studies at Victoria College, or have graduated from the Provincial Normal School in Victoria. There is no annual fee for membership. However, if you wish to have an alumni card which entitles you to certain campus privileges, the current cost is $15 annually.

We are fortunate to have wonderful people working for the alumni. I especially appreciate the work of staffers Don Jones and Nels Granewall, as they are the foundation of the operation. Members of the board are enthusiastic, energetic, creative and generous with their time. There are also many other volunteers without whom the workload would be impossible. When you have time to help, please call the office and volunteer.

Congratulations go to Janet Erasmus, who is our new representative on the Board of Governors. I'm also pleased to note that Peter Smith has been chosen as this year's recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award. This will be presented at the annual dinner and general meeting on May 15th, at the Faculty Club. Come early for the reception at which the Award(s) for Excellence in Teaching will be presented. I hope to see you there.

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Peter Smith chosen for Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Peter L. Smith, VC'49-50, Classical scholar, honorary UVic historian, and wearer of a wide variety of administrative hats, is this year's recipient of the UVic Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award.

He will officially receive the award at the Alumni annual general meeting on May 15, where he will deliver the keynote address.

"I am delighted at the recognition of Peter Smith. He is an outstanding UVic alumnus and has been a loyal member of our community for more than 40 years," says Dr. Sam Scully, Vice-President Academic and Provost, and Smith's colleague in the Classics department.

Smith received his BA from UBC and his MA and PhD in classics from Yale. He joined the UVic faculty in 1960. A scholar of Latin drama and poetry, Smith has published a book on Plautus and has penned translations and adaptations of Aristophanes, Plautus, Aeschylus and Vergil for stage performance. He has also served as president of the Classical Associations of the Canadian West, the Pacific Northwest, and of Canada.

In addition to these scholarly achievements, he has served two terms as chair of the Department of Classics, been acting director of the Evening Division, acting chair of the departments of Philosophy and of Visual Arts, associate dean of Arts and Science (1970-71) and dean of Fine Arts (1972-80).

"Peter Smith was committed to one of UVic's unique features, namely the presence of BC's only Faculty of Fine Arts, and he was willing to leave his home department of Classics for eight years in order to sustain and develop it," says current Fine Arts Dean, Dr. Anthony Welch. "With his careful support, the Faculty grew and flourished, not only in the expansion of undergraduate student population but also in the development of new graduate programs. His dedication led as well to the allocation of funding for the construction of the Faculty's first two buildings, the Music Building and the Phoenix Theatre. The Faculty and the University owe much to him."

He is also very well known as the honorary historian of the University, having published University of Victoria: The Development of the Gordon Head Campus (with Martin Segger), and A Multitude of the Wise: UVic Remembered.

His service to the University and the surrounding community is legendary. Smith has played a leading role in UVic committees dealing with ceremonies and the development of new campus buildings, and he has provided invaluable assistance with all University anniversaries and celebrations. He has served on Senate and as president of the Faculty Association. Off campus, Smith has chaired the BC Arts Board and been a director, board member, or officer of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Victoria Conservatory of Music, the Leon and Thea Koerner Foundation, the Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, and the Community Arts Council of Greater Victoria, among others.

"Peter Smith is one of UVic's best ambassadors," says Helen Kempster, Manager of the UVic Ceremonies Office. "He has made significant contributions both within and outside the University community. I very much enjoyed the time I worked with him on ceremonial affairs. He brought not only a wealth of knowledge to his work as chair of the Ceremonies Committee, but also a keen sense of humour, which was invaluable on stressful occasions."

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On April 1 we made our fifth and final payment of $50,000 to the UVic Challenge Campaign. Our $250,000 total contribution was designated for the new student housing complex on campus and the proposed Centre for Global Studies.

We continued our support of the Student Employment Centre's Career Search Strategies -Job Club program with a $10,500 grant and provided another $3,000 to purchase a computer and printer for use by alumni. This equipment is now available and can be booked by calling 721-8419. The centre is an important resource for young alumni who are trying to begin their careers.

Another grant of $3,000 was made to the Friends of the Chaplaincy for a computer workstation. A $2,000 grant was given to the Department of Theatre to support the Beckett Festival in May. Other grants this year were: $1,000 to the Canadian Universities Student Exchange Consortium for travel awards, $2,500 to Science Venture summer science camps, $500 to Graduate Studies to support a teaching assistants training day, $540 to Athletics & Recreation to support youth basketball camps, $400 to Canada World Youth, $1,000 to Science Olympics and $700 to support a student for travel to an archeological dig in England.

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An energetic task group of the Alumni Enterprises Committee is presently calling on local business establishments to encourage discounts and special privileges for Alumni Card Holders. The card is presently given free to new grads for the first year and is renewable for $15 in successive years. It presently entitles the card holder to borrowing privileges at the library, a discount at Cinecenta, Alumni rates at Athletics and Recreation, and evening memberships at the Faculty Club. For further information about the Alumni Card program contact your Alumni Office.

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Your Alumni Office would like to hear from you.

You will find us in University House 1, corner of Sinclair and Haro Roads. (Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.) Our postal address is PO Box 3060, Victoria BC, V8W 3R4. Or call 721-6000 for local calls or toll free from anywhere in North America. at 800-808-6828. Visit our World Wide Web Page (look for us under Administrative Departments and Services - Alumni Association.) Or simply call, write or e-mail any of the staff listed below.


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On Saturday, May 11th, the Canadian Cancer Society is hosting the third annual 12-hour Fun Run Relay at UVic's Centennial Stadium. An assortment of entertainment throughout the day, including face painting, crafts, games, and volleyball, will make it an ideal family day for interested alumni. Organizers are hoping to raise $64,000 at UVic, thanks to a generous donation from Seabord Life Insurance Company, which is assisting in underwriting costs of event.

Twelve members of the Alumni board will seek pledges and take part by walking or running the 4.5 km. UVic chip trail. The board encourages other alumni in Victoria to participate by making up their own teams of 12, and invite our alumni in Coquitlam to sign up for the Fun Run Relay to be held at the Coquitlam Town Centre Stadium on June 1.

The $25 registration fee includes a race T-shirt, lunch, and a Bar-B-Q dinner. Incentive prizes will include a fanny pack filled with useful items for the day of the event for participants raising a minimum of $50 in pledges. For more information, please call 472-2227.

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New jobs program helps recent grads and employers

A new federal employment program offered through the UVic Student Employment Centre gives UVic grads a head start on their careers while offering their employers assistance with salaries. The Job Opportunities Program for Graduates, a wage subsidy funded by Human Resources Development Canada, reimburses an employer with a wage allowance of up to 50 percent during the training period.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must have an undergraduate or graduate UVic degree received from UVic in Jan. 1994 or later, be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant no older than 32 years. Applicants must be willing to attend workshops to assist with job search strategies, if necessary, and be prepared to commit to a full-time job search for full-time work that requires degree-related skills.

For further information, contact Deborah Convery at the Student Employment Centre, 472-4286.

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