Franca Peri, Azam Dawood '89, Carolyn Everson, Peter Frost and Matt Johnson '95 were all celebrated for their exemplary, longstanding volunteer work on behalf of the College, at the annual volunteer reception May 15.
The Harold A.D. Roberts Circle Award is presented annually in recognition of substantial contributions made or special service provided by members of the UCC Association, either through short-term involvement or long-term commitment.
The award is named after Harold Roberts, Class of 1915. Harold “Mr. UCC” Roberts was associated with UCC for more than 65 years. His roles included student, Old Boy, parent, secretary of the Association, governor, director of the Foundation and all-around ambassador of goodwill.
This year’s five honourees received their award at UCC’s volunteer reception on Wednesday, May 15 in Grant House’s garden. Congratulations to them all.
From the moment her sons Robert and John joined UCC in 2009, Franca worked tirelessly for the student athletes, not only for the teams on which her sons have played but all teams. She’d haul cases of beverages and snacks to every game without expecting anything in return. A volunteer for the Used Blues Shop (TUBS), Franca would come early to set out snacks for boys, in case they missed breakfast. “Over the years the boys and staff would simply come in to say hello and let me know how they were doing; they became regulars,” she says. Also a member of the Parents’ Organization, Association Day’s silent auction co-chair, the Arts Booster Club’s treasurer and a team parent co-ordinator for the Blues Booster Club, she considered all UCC boys her family.
“If Franca owned a castle, she would be in the trenches helping the hired staff,” says her nomination for this award. “Tireless, passionate and a caring volunteer; that’s Franca.”
Franca is the mother of John ’17 and Robert ’19
Azam Dawood ’89
Working with former long-time faculty member Derek Poon and current faculty member Andrew MacDougall, Azam has worked passionately as an assistant coach for the varsity tennis team for more than 12 years. He’s the perfect example of finding a niche in which he can share an interest, then volunteering to the maximum. Finding many hours to dedicate each season, he supports the boys by attending practices and matches, even going with the team on its annual trip to the Lawrenceville School in New Jersey.
“Azam knows the game extremely well and adds good insight for the players in terms of technical skills and tactical strategies,” says his nomination. Moreover, Dawood has also found time to serve as a grade rep, a Prep Parents’ Organization volunteer and a Common Ties mentor.
Azam is an Old Boy and the parent of Zach ’19 and Ethan ’22.
Involved in the UCC community for more than 14 years, Carolyn has served in countless roles including as a member of both the Parents’ Organization and the Prep Parents’ Organization over more than a decade, and the steering committee for both the Believe in Blue Gala and the Ice Blue Auction.
A role model to many, she “is always positive, brings energy to any meeting and always praises the contributions of others,” says her nomination. She is also always ready to go above and beyond. For example, one anecdote goes, when the PO was looking to fill vacancies, many were specific in their requested roles, “Carolyn simply stated she would take on whatever duties were needed; that was a reflection of her commitment.”
Carolyn has also volunteered with the library, admissions, Horizons, Grandparent's Day and grad rings. As a member of the Association Council for six years she served as vice chair and has been chair of the awards program’s task force and the awards committee.
Carolyn is the parent of Andrew ’17
For more than two decades, Peter has dedicated time as a volunteer coach of the varsity squash team. Although professionally retired now, Peter spent many years balancing a family, his job in finance and working with our boys in the squash program. “He is a terrific role model for our boys, having played a high level of squash himself,” says his nomination. “The amount of time over those years he has sacrificed on behalf of our boys is exemplary.” Frost continues to coach the team.
Matt Johnson '95
Matt has spent the better part of two decades volunteering at UCC, including founding the Young Alumni Network, and acting as chair for many years; he was Old Boy chair for Association Day, a longtime member of the Association Council, and most recently, president of the Association Council until his term ended this past year. Matt continues his involvement today as past President of the Association Council while sitting on the Council’s Governance committee.
His service to the College includes working with the Blues Booster Club and acting as a member of the reunion planning committee and the property sub-committee. His nomination arrived in the form of a detailed spreadsheet with lots and lots of cells full of information - sometimes the track record speaks for itself.