Class of 2020 celebrated at Last Lecture

Recognizing graduates for their contributions to the Mount Allison and Sackville communities

Class of 2020 - Last Lecture Award Winners

By Melissa Lombard

The sixth annual Last Lecture, recognizing graduates for their contributions to the Mount Allison and Sackville communities, was held virtually for the first time on May 1, 2020. 

Everett PattersonThe  Don Norton Memorial Award went to  Everett Patterson. The award honours the top graduating male student who, during his final year, makes the greatest overall contribution to University life. Patterson  served on the Board of Regents, the Senate, and as a residence assistant. He played varsity soccer and was a teaching assistant for eight courses in math and computer science — all the while his positive attitude towards life was absolutely infectious.

Elise VaillancourtThe  Frances S. Allison Award, the highest honour for a graduating female student, was awarded to  Élise Vaillancourt. The award recognizes outstanding academic achievement, as well as achievement in areas such as sports, class projects, service to the University, development of character, and leadership. Vaillancourt  exemplifies what it means to be a student leader. She has dedicated her time to various clubs and societies, including the Student Refugee Program and Rotaract, all while maintaining a dean’s list average throughout her five years. Her work with the Mount Allison Students' Union (MASU) has drastically improved student life.

Nigel VerretThe  Charlie Hunter Award  is presented to a student who has shown exemplary student leadership and demonstrated commitment to student involvement and engagement during their time at Mount Allison. This year’s recipient was  Nigel Verret. Grad class president and valedictorian, Verret manages to make you feel special and cared for every time he talks to you.  What sets him  apart is his ability to connect with people. 

Victoria RustVictoria Rust  was presented with the  Gil Latter Memorial Award, which honours a student who has volunteered their time and demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the Sackville community. Rust is always going above and beyond in her commitments including her involvement in the SMILE program, Garnet and Gold Musical Theatre Society, Healthcare Outreach, and more. Within her four years she has managed to make a truly meaningful impact on campus and in the Sackville community as a whole.

Four  Gold A Awards  were also presented during the  Last  Lecture  to recognize graduating students who have made outstanding contributions to the University community. This year’s recipients were  Yana Titarenko, Amira Abouleish, Rebekah Howlett, and  Claire Genest.

Aminah SimmonsThe 2020  Barritt-Marshall Award  went to  Aminah Simmons  from  Bermuda. The award honours the graduating international student whose contributions to the internationalization of campus and the community have helped to promote cross-cultural understanding and co-operation.  Simmons has passionately worked to promote inclusivity on campus. She has served on residence executive, volunteered with the International Mentorship Program, was a member of Mount Allison's Anti-Racism Education and Response Team, and was elected as MASU’s first ever ethnic diversity representative. She was also a founding member of the Caribbean Students' Association.

Diandra StaceyThe  Chris Metallic Prize in Indigenous Leadership  was awarded to third-year student  Diandra Stacey  from Kahnawake, QC for her hard work with the Indigenous Garden website and the Indigenous Student Support Group.  The award was established by the Class of 2016 and recognizes a student who makes the greatest contribution to the indigenization of campus.

University Leadership pins  were presented to graduating students in recognition of their extensive co-curricular leadership on campus or in the local Sackville community. Recipients include:  Laren Bedgood, Erin Cecchetto, Natalia Liste Colomina, Emilie Comfort, Siobhan Doyle, Rhiannon Ford, MacKenzie Gordon, Lisa Hanselmann, Rowan Hickey, Rachel McDougall, Sean McNeill, EmmaRae Murphy, Katya Parker, Paige Percy, Sam Smedley, Grace Snowdon, Sam Unger, Sertara Wilkinson, Kevin Wong, Arianna Woodley,  and  Rebecca Yeo.

Watch the full virtual Last Lecture: