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30 Years of Alumni Awards

In September, Julie Donaldson (PLA '99) joined the SAITennial Squad at the Salvation Army Agape Hospice to winterize the garden, trim hedges, clear flower beds and rake leaves. The experience has inspired her to volunteer again in the spring.

This year marks the 30th year that SAIT has honoured graduates who have turned the ordinary into the exceptional through the Distinguished and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards.

The annual recognition program highlights the valuable contributions of SAIT alumni. From titans of industry to community activists, chefs to media personalities, the recipients of the awards are as varied and accomplished as a SAIT graduating class. As SAIT prepares to close its centennial year, the 2017 Alumni Award recipients will represent the institution as it enters its second century.

"So many people who have come from SAIT go on to do great things. We need to share that," says Joanne Johnson of Calgary radio show Don, Joanne and The Coach. Johnson, who was named the Distinguished Alumna in 2013, wants alumni to nominate SAIT graduates who are making a change for the better.

"I think it's important to get the word out that SAIT produces great people doing great things in the community, financially as well as through achievements that affect people in their daily lives."

Doug Ramsay, co-founder of Calfrac Well Services and recipient of the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award, speaks warmly of his award and the relationships he's formed with his fellow honourees. He urges alumni to seize the opportunity to nominate worthy candidates.

"It gives them well-deserved recognition within their peer group. Every meeting I go to at SAIT, I wear my Alumni Award pin. It makes me feel proud that somebody took the time and effort to recognize my accomplishments," Ramsay says.

The Distinguished Alumni Award was first awarded in 1988 and has been shining a light on leaders who make a difference, give back to the community and do SAIT proud ever since.

In 2009, SAIT introduced the Outstanding Young Alumni Award, celebrating graduates who have accomplished more in their early careers than most achieve in a lifetime.

Nominate a fellow graduate for a Distinguished or Outstanding Young Alumni Award before March 31, 2017. The recipients will be chosen by a selection committee and honoured at a reception in the fall.

Written by Ruth Myles