A Saturday morning tradition of St. F.X. Homecoming Weekend sees recognition bestowed upon both current and past students.
The 2017 Hall of Honour candidates and 2017 Alumni Recognition Awards are both celebrated during the event which is held at the Schwartz School of Business auditorium.
This year’s Hall of Honour candidates were; Clifford Maxwell (posthumously) – class of 1957, James Bowne – class of 1967 and Hugh Hines – class of 1987.
Maxwell’s wife Florenz accepted on behalf of her husband, who passed away in 2013, while Jeff Orr, Dean of Education at St. F.X., accepted on behalf of Hines, who was unable to attend.
“St. F.X. has been a very important part of my life,” Bowne said as part of his acceptance speech.
“Community service and making a positive difference in people’s lives are values St. F.X. reinforces in us as students and as alumni, which we promote throughout our lives.”
Bowne added his involvement as a St. F.X. alumnus, has been a “rich and fulfilling” experience.
“I’ve enjoyed working with people who share these values,” he said. “When I see someone with an X-ring and we introduce ourselves, it’s always a rewarding experience.”
Asked about the honour after the ceremony, Bowne called it “very humbling.”
“It’s such a remarkable tribute, I’m thrilled,” he said. “This is such a classy place; it brings you to tears.”
Asked about a memory from his time at the university, Bowne spoke about his alma mater in broad terms.
“Just the whole university,” he said. “The makeup, the philosophy, how it interacts with the public; it was a major influence for me on how to live my life.”
Alumni Recognition Awards went to Sydney Van De Wiel (first year), Jamie McCarron (second year), Adam Morin (third year) and Cassia Tremblay (fourth year).
As part of the ceremony, the students read their essays which captured their appreciation and affection for the university.
“I’m beyond happy with my decision to attend St. F.X. University,” Van De Wiel, who is from St. John’s but has family in the local area (Beaver Meadow), said as part of her speech.
“Once I arrived at school, I realized there are far more opportunities than I could have even imagined. More importantly, every activity I’ve chosen to participate in has had an impact on myself and my education.”
“The feeling and experience of being a student at X is hard to describe … it’s truly not about the individual; it’s more about being part of something bigger,” McCarron, from New Glasgow and a member of the X-Women basketball team, said.
Asked about the award following the ceremony, McCarron called being selected a “huge privilege.”
“I was shocked when I found out I received it,” she said. “I love St. F.X., I’ve always loved St. F.X., my parents love St. F.X., and so this is really a big honour for me.”
She talked about being inspired by St. F.X. alumni, such as her parents and the three graduates selected for the Hall of Honour this year.
“It’s incredible,” McCarron said. “I’m surrounded by alumni every day, so it’s such an inspiration. My parents, my coach Augy Jones is an alumnus; seeing what people who have graduated from St. F.X. are doing, it makes me really excited for the future.”
And all that helps when it comes to writing a speech about the university, she noted.
“A lot easier than the essays I write for class … this one was much easier,” McCarron said with a wide-smile. “Writing about why I love St. F.X. was not a difficult thing for me to do.”
St. F.X. President Kent MacDonald called the ceremony a “highlight” of the weekend, and an important one as well.
“Because it allows us to look to the past and to the future,” MacDonald said. “The young students who spoke so eloquently as award winners, as well as honouring those who went into the Hall of Honour.
“A pull from Marshal McLuhan’s analogy is that we have to continue to look through the rear-view mirror even though we’re going forward, that’s important, and that ceremony is a wonderful one to do just that,” MacDonald added.