University of Toronto

Innis Alumni & Friends

2011 Arbor Awards

Innis College is proud to announce that Ms. Julia Deans, Mrs. Terry G. Harris, Ms. Pat MacKay, and the late Mr. D’Arcy McGee have all been selected as 2011 Arbor Award recipients.

The Arbor Awards recognize volunteers for their outstanding personal service to the College and the University.

Arbor Award winners are recognized at a special ceremony at the President’s House in September 2011.

Learn more about this year’s recipients:

Ms. Julia Deans

This past September, Julia Deans was honoured with a 2011 U of T Arbor Award. Recipients are recognized for their personal service to the University and its community.

As CEO of The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance (CivicAction), Julia has been a supporter, advocate and friend of the Urban Studies Program, Innis College since 2007.  For the past four years, Julia and the CivicAction team have welcomed a student from the Urban Studies Program’s internship course.  The students placed at CivicAction have gained transferable skills through their internships that include: meeting planning, facilitation and networking, report writing, and project management.

Most significantly however, Julia has taken her role as supervisor and mentor very seriously, making sure to provide students with a variety of opportunities suited to their interests and skill sets, and taking the time to get to know each successive intern as an individual.  Julia has particularly taken her mandate above and beyond that of a traditional internship supervisor by ensuring that at the end of each student’s internship, informational interviews and networking meetings are scheduled to help the intern transition from ‘student’ to ‘professional’.

“CivicAction brings together leaders in all sectors to tackle the Toronto region’s social, economic and environmental challenges. It’s a terrific place for university students to be part of cross-sectoral collaboration in action and we are always excited to have the fresh eyes and ideas that Urban Studies interns bring to our work,” Julia told the Innis Alumni Network.

In addition to Julia’s mentorship work, she supports the Urban Studies program by attending and participating in events on campus.  In 2009 and 2011, Julia participated in a panel discussion about the role that CivicAction plays in promoting research and economic development in Toronto.  In April 2011, Julia also joined a panel discussion open to both the university community and the public discussing the importance of Canadian cities, suburbs and metropolitan areas to the economy, recovery, and well-being of the entire country.

On receiving the honor, Julia says, “I am honoured to have received the Arbor Award and grateful to have yet another connection with the University of Toronto and Innis College.”

Mrs. Terry G. Harris

Mrs. Terry G Harris has been involved with Innis College since the late 1990’s. Originally connected to Innis through her late husband Robin Harris (the College’s first Principal), Mrs. Harris has directed much of her time and support to the College.

Over the years, she has met with Innis College students and informally mentored and advised them. She has also provided great support and advice to the Principal, and has worked with the Advancement Office on a number of important student initiatives and projects including the renovations of the library student space, the revitalization of the courtyard, and Town Hall’s lobby.

Most recently, Mrs. Harris has been involved with the development of a new learning website through the Innis College Writing and Rhetoric Program. She has provided valuable advice to the program director on the development of a writing website. Mrs. Harris has always been a great ambassador of the College, promoting the College’s programs, students, and faculty.

Ms. Pat MacKay

Pat MacKay has been a member of the Later Life Learning (LLL) board since 2009 when she was appointed as Chair of the Scholarship Committee. LLL is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers. In partnership with Innis College, LLL sponsors university level courses for learners in their later years.

Over the last 3 years, as Chair of the Sponsorship Committee, Pat has led an incredibly successful fundraising campaign, raising the most annually this past year (2010/2011).  Pat has introduced many creative fundraising initiatives to help the group raise its $1 million goal by 2013 –LLL’s 30th anniversary. The addition of a 2nd Week of Giving, a “Loonies for Learning” drive, and the increased engagement of new members and new volunteers, Pat secured an additional $40,000 in gifts from individual LLL members. Thanks to the OTSS matching program, the $40,000 will be matched 1:1.

The LLL Scholarship fund has provided support to hundreds of Innis College students with financial need, and has also recognized the academic excellence of hundreds of the College’s highest achieving students.

Mr. D’Arcy McGee

D’Arcy McGee has been a member of the board of Later Life Learning (LLL) since 2009 and as such has been an active member of the Innis College community for the past 3 years.

LLL is a non-profit organization run entirely by volunteers. In partnership with Innis College, LLL sponsors university level courses for learners in their later years.

D’Arcy would have currently been serving his 2nd year as President of LLL but passed away suddenly in the Spring of 2011.

Not only had D’Arcy dedicated much of his time to working with the Advancement Office on raising funds for the LLL Scholarship in support of Innis College students, but he had served on several Innis College volunteer boards including the Innis College Council, and the Innis College Community Affairs Board.  Under D’Arcy’s great leadership, the LLL Scholarship Fund made great progress towards its $1 million goal.

D’Arcy will be greatly missed by the Innis community and the Later Life Learning members.


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