2012 Victoria Leadership Award Recipients

- Tara Sharpe

UVic climate science expert and Canada Research Chair Dr. Andrew Weaver and Dr. Mary Ellen Purkis, dean of UVic's Faculty of Human and Social Development, are this year's recipients of the University of Victoria Community Leadership Awards. They were two of 29 nominees celebrated at an annual gala event for the Victoria Leadership Awards at the Fairmont Empress on Feb. 21, 2012.

UVic is a founding partner of the annual VLA program, which was established in 2004 to honour the accomplishments of community heros. Leadership Victoria, the community-based association which organizes the annual program, describes the VLAs as "our city's very own 'Academy Awards' for community volunteerism, dedication and achievement." The UVic award acknowledges outstanding leadership in linking the university and the community for greater public benefit.

All 29 VLA nominees—including Dean of UVic's Gustavson School of Business Dr. Ali Dastmalchian, Becky Cory (University 101), Brian Richmond (fine arts/now with Blue Bridge Theatre), Prof. Emeritus Dr. David Chuenyan Lai (geography/now with Centre on Aging), Dr. David Zimmerman (history), Sara Wegwitz (Health Services), Susan Strega (School of Social Work), alumna Leslie Lee and student Ruth Fernandes, all of UVic—were celebrated at the gala event. Long-time UVic supporter and local businessman Naz Rayani was also presented with the 2012 Leadership Victoria Lifetime Achievement Award.

Formed in 2000, Leadership Victoria is a voluntary organization committed to developing, supporting, recognizing and honouring outstanding community leaders. The program is a national phenonemon: there are Leadership programs in numerous cities across Canada, including a Leadership Vancouver and Leadership Ottawa. The local Leadership program has graduated over 230 community champions who work collaboratively to resolve the complex challenges facing our city.

Leadership Victoria announcement about the 2012 VLA recipients is now posted on the UVic news page, including a backgrounder containing biographies of all nominees.

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Keywords: Victoria Leadership Awards, award

People: Andrew Weaver, Mary Ellen Purkis

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