Founder’s Dinner 2019 pays tribute to leaders and legends in the UCC community
Founder's Dinner 2019 commenced with Principal Sam McKinney leading the community in a moment of silence to honour the passing of the Honourable Michael Wilson ‘55, last year’s inaugural Old Boy of Distinction, Feb. 11. The UCC flag had flown at half-mast the day prior, to recognize the former federal finance minister and business leader.
The evening progressed with more prominent Old Boys in the spotlight. This year's honouree, Bill Wilder '40 was flanked by wife Billie, and longtime friend John Eaton '57 spoke on his behalf.
“Bill is someone with the character, wit, intelligence and talents that you are lucky to meet once in a lifetime — and it’s my great honour to present this award to him this evening,” said Eaton.
A moving tribute video for Wilder was also shown, touching on key milestones in his life, including his navy service in the Second World War, his training at Harvard Business school, his career as a Bay Street titan and his tremendous philanthrophic contributions, including UCC’s Wilder Library and the William Wilder ’40 Arena & Sports Complex.
“Over the past two and a half years, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Bill,” said McKinney. “He’s been a generous, supportive confidante — and his legendary sense of humour make him a great deal of fun to be around. His steadfast commitment to the College has created opportunities for so many others through the results of his own success.”
Accepting the Young Old Boy of Distinction Award on behalf of NASA scientist Jason Rabinovitch '04 was brother Marty '02. His parents, Marsha and Jed, sister-in-law Janine and family friends also attended.
John D. Stevenson '47 was on hand to present his eponymous award for volunteer service to former UCC Board Chair Andy Burgess '83. Best known to all as chairman of UCC’s Board of Governors from 2010 to 2014, Burgess was a driving force behind the success of the College’s $100-million Think Ahead Campaign. Burgess spoke of the rewards of his volunteer work.
“As a volunteer, I met Old Boys both younger and older than me. Dave MacDougall ’81 inspired me to run a marathon and reminded me why I don’t like the Montreal Canadians,” said Burgess. “Peter MacGowan ’77 taught me how to work the ‘erg machine’ and the finer points of good governance. And Michael MacMillan ’74 led by example: he educated all on UCC’s Board of Governors how to be open to other points of view and gracefully move in a new direction.”