Feb. 22, 2001 Vol . 20, No. 4

Chancellor's Awards

Pipe sergeant Jack Lee (from left), lead drummer Reid Maxwell and pipe major Terry Lee display the silverware awarded the senior pipe band when it won the world piping chamionships for a third time in 1999.
SFU Pipe Band

With 75 engagements a year, including commitments as prestigious as playing for the Queen of England, it's hard to believe Simon Fraser University's senior pipe band has time for community involvement.

But it's the band's dual dedication to Scottish piping and drumming excellence on the world scene and to playing at community events that has earned it the Chancellor's distinguished service award.

The three-time world champion pipe band has won SFU, Vancouver and B.C. international acclaim. It has also become an institution at civic events like Remembrance Day and SFU's convocation ceremonies.

Jack Lee, the senior band's pipe sergeant, and his brother Terry, the band's pipe major, were awarded the Governor General of Canada's Meritorious Service medal in 1999 for their contributions to piping, culture and youth development.

Through its bi-annual Highland Arts Festival at SFU and junior bands' activities, the senior pipe band mentors pipers, drummers and highland dancers from across North America.

In the midst of its busiest year since its inception 25 years ago, the senior pipe band is preparing for a concert at Vancouver's Orpheum Theatre on Sunday, March 25 at 1 p.m.

Jack Lee says the concert will be a good warmup for the band's international engagements in Christ Church, New Zealand on April 7 and at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia on April 11.

Three years ago, the senior band attracted international attention when it performed at New York's fabled Carnegie Hall and earned a standing ovation from an audience of more than 2,100 people.

Ralph Hancox

Ralph Hancox (left), recipient of the 2001 SFU chancellor's distinguished service award, may well have printer's ink running in his veins.

His career in publishing has taken him from working journalist, to news editor of a British weekly, to editor-in-chief of the Peterborough Examiner and chairman, president and chief executive officer of the Reader's Digest Association of Canada. Today, he's visiting professor and professional fellow in Simon Fraser University's Canadian Centre for Publishing Studies, master of publishing program.

At the Feb. 16 awards ceremony, Chancellor Milton Wong, said Hancox was being honoured for his leading role in the Canadian publishing industry's support for the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing (CCSP). Chancellor Wong also announced that the Reader's Digest Foundation of Canada is funding a professional fellowship for the master of publishing program in Hancox's name.

Since 1995 the MPub students at the Harbour Centre campus have been the beneficiaries of Ralph Hancox's encyclopedic knowledge of the Canadian publishing industry. He traces his involvement with SFU back to a meeting with Rowland Lorimer and Ann Cowan, co-founders and directors of the CCSP. They wanted his help in launching an innovative publishing education program. He was interested, but said he "didn't want to be a part of any publishing program that didn't include the business of publishing. They said, 'If you feel so strongly about it why don't you come and teach it.' " So, he did.

"We now have 75 graduates with a sound knowledge of the burgeoning multi-media publishing industry. Editing, public policies, business and human resource management, graphic and web design, and new technologies in publishing are all covered. Simon Fraser is providing publishing education in a way that has not been done before."

Hancox continues to teach at SFU, even though he now makes his home in Ontario most of the year. "I am pleased to be a part of a program that is making a significant contribution to the publishing industry, which is in the business of transferring information from one mind to another."

Josephine Mills

Josephine Mills (right) has spent 25 years as an advocate for people with Down syndrome. Later this year, those efforts will culminate in the building of a new Down syndrome research facility near SFU -- the first of its kind in North America.

Mills says construction of the facility is expected to get under way in March. "There's a lot of excitement in the Down syndrome community these days," says Mills, who was the founding chair of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (1987-1990) and served as its executive director until 1995.

While working in the health field, Mills, a mother of four healthy children, saw the need for an organization that would build support groups, create information sources and champion the need for Down syndrome research. The society was created a decade after she began her advocacy, which included developing services and forming parent support groups across Canada.

In 1995, she founded the Down Syndrome Research Foundation and Resource Centre. To date more than $2 million has been raised to provide a wide range of services to children and adults with Down syndrome, their families and professionals in the field.

Plans for the research facility, which has drawn an additional $2.6 million in funding, grew from Mills' close working relationship with SFU's faculty of applied sciences and the school of kinesiology.

The facility has already attracted the interest of national and international researchers and will put SFU at the forefront of Down syndrome research, teaching and service.

Mills has been recognized by numerous parent groups and was honoured with a service award from Down Syndrome International in 1999. She has also been inducted into the Who's Who of Canadian Women and two years ago was a nominee for a YWCA Women of Distinction award.

Art Martell

Art Martell, former director of the Canadian Wildlife Service and now director general of Environment Canada in the Pacific and Yukon, will receive the Chancellor's award for his vision in promoting the development of the chair in wildlife ecology at SFU.

In the early 90s, with wildlife ecology becoming increasingly important, Martell, then director of the Pacific region of the Canadian Wildlife Service, recognized the need for collaboration with academia in order to improve wildlife conservation. He successfully lobbied for the creation of a chair in wildlife ecology at SFU.

Today, the chair supports two professors who run what has become the largest program in SFU's science faculty, with an annual budget of $1.3 million and 50 associated students and faculty.

Recognized worldwide for innovation, the program's projects include physiological and behavioural studies of shore birds from South America to Alaska, endangered bird species in B.C., agricultural conflicts with birds, seabirds and climate change, and the biology of seaducks. Many of these studies provide the first glimpse into the ecology and conservation requirements of bird species important to Canada.

Martell's vision has prompted a lasting legacy -- Environment Canada and SFU are now seeking a permanent endowment for the program to become the Centre for Wildlife Ecology.

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