Outstanding volunteers welcomed to the Harold A.D. Roberts Circle

George McNeillie ’70 and Allen Meredith ’70, and UCC parents Sarah Morgenstern, Verena Dong, Simone Odendaal and Ken Tanenbaum are the newest members of the Harold A.D. Roberts Circle, an award recognizing those whose exceptional volunteer contributions significantly enhance the College and the UCC Association.
“Volunteers have an impact in every facet of UCC life. Whether it’s supporting the co-curricular experiences and wellbeing of boys, helping the College raise funds, creating opportunities for bonds to be strengthened among parents and Old Boys, or contributing to the governance of the school — there’s no part of UCC left untouched by the care and contributions of our dedicated volunteers,” says Brendan Dellandrea ’01, vice-principal of advancement.

George McNeillie and Allen Meredith, Class of 1970

McNeillie, a member of the Advertising Review Board of Ontario, and Meredith, president of A.E. Meredith Real Estate Ltd., have been co-presidents of their class since graduation. This is their 50th year holding these positions. 

The pair played on the UCC varsity football team together, McNeillie as quarterback. They’ve worked on behalf of the class ever since, striving tirelessly to maintain strong connections among classmates and foster a spirit of giving back to the College. 

McNeillie and Meredith initiated the class’ financial assistance fund with contributions now reaching $250,000. And for a 45
th anniversary class gift, they arranged for Laidlaw Hall’s carved and painted school crest. 

“They have engendered and encouraged financial gifts to UCC,” writes one of their Harold A.D. Roberts Circle Award nominators. “They are great cheerleaders for their fellow classmates and have facilitated quarterly dinner events for a number of years to maintain and strengthen the friendships made at UCC that have now stretched beyond 50 years.”

Adds another nominator, “George and Al have more than sustained a level of continuing camaraderie among their classmates, one well beyond any expected norm. Their success rests on their bringing a sense of humour, imagination, and initiative in advancing the interests of past and future generations of students, such as the class scholarship fund.”

McNeillie is a member of UCC’s legacy giving society Our Third Century, following in the footsteps of his great-grandfather, grandfather and father at UCC. Meredith attended the College along with his brothers David ’72 and Grahame ’80. 

Sarah Morgenstern

Morgenstern, director of business development for Cubane Consulting, is president of the UCC Parents’ Organization (PO) and has been a volunteer at the College since 2009. She previously served as the special events chair for the Prep Parents’ Organization (PPO) and as the new parents’ event co-ordinator. Morgenstern has also been a grade rep, Blues Booster Club member, an A-Day and Festive Marketplace volunteer, and a Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day committee member. She and her husband are strong financial supporters of UCC.
 
“Sarah has been a beacon of positivity,” write her nominators. “As the PO president, she has led the PO though COVID-19 with empathy, authenticity, love and has been a voice of reason.

“Her fantastic organization and communication skills have contributed to so many successful events and brought together members of the UCC community to make it that much stronger. For many years, she has been our ‘go-to’ person – if you need to know something or get something done, she will always take the call.”

Morgenstern’s son, Adam, is a member of the 2020 Leaving Class. 

Verena Dong and Simone Odendaal 

Odendaal and Dong have been volunteers at UCC since their younger sons, both 2020 grads, entered the school in Year 3. Both women are members of the Parents’ Organization and past members of the Prep Parents’ Organization.
 
“From their early days at UCC, they both eagerly became involved in Prep School life as class reps, bake sale co-ordinators, PPO Arts Appreciation liaisons, and library, Prep Shop and A-Day volunteers,” writes a nominator. “In these roles, they always promoted community spirit.” 

Both also served as the PO’s TUBS co-coordinators for the past three years, overseeing volunteers, hosting monthly volunteers’ lunches and raising extra money for TUBS at Festive Marketplace. 
 
“For the past nine years, this dynamic duo has gone ‘above and beyond the call of duty,’ making outstanding contributions to UCC,” says a nominator. “In all their different volunteer capacities, their focus has always been on improving both the student experience and the parent volunteer experience, thereby significantly improving the UCC Association and the College community. Simone and Verena are selfless, dedicated volunteer role models, who lead by example.” 

Ken Tanenbaum

Tanenbaum, vice-chair of Kilmer Van Nostrand, is an honorary trustee of the UCC Foundation and has served on the College’s board of governors twice: from 2007–2012 and from 2015–2019, including a stint as vice-chair in 2017–18 and membership on a number of board committees. A philanthropic supporter of the College, Ken was also a member of the Think Ahead Campaign cabinet from 2010 to 2012. 

“Ken served two non-successive terms on the board under four different board chairs and his contributions were enormous,” writes his nominator. “He served on numerous board sub-committees and continues to help out in this capacity.

“His affinity and love for the College is deeply rooted in a profound respect for our values, or as he puts it, ‘the enduring commitment UCC has to Canada’s potential.’ Beyond this, he has always been quick to volunteer time and resources when asked, and he is, and will continue to be, a lifelong supporter.”

All three of Tanenbaum’s sons have attended or currently attend the College. Jack graduated in 2018 and Ethan in 2020; Dylan will graduate in 2022.

The Harold A.D. Roberts Circle Awards 

Membership in the Circle is an honour named for a member of the Class of 1915 who was known as “Mr. UCC.” Roberts’ service to the College lasted more than eight decades and included membership on the board of governors for 18 years. He was also a UCC ambassador-at-large and helped place about 2,000 alumni in jobs.

New members are chosen based on the length and nature of their volunteer service, including the diversity of roles undertaken and consistency of commitment. 

“Thank you to each and every one of you,” says an appreciative Dellandrea. “Your efforts invariably contribute to the happiness, connectedness and accomplishments of students, alumni and parents.”

You can watch a video made in tribute to all of UCC’s devoted volunteers here.
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