2018 Recipients

2018 CCAE Friend of Education Award

Robert H. Lee

Supported by Offord Group

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Esteemed philanthropist, visionary and beloved community leader Robert (Bob) H. Lee, CM, OBC, is one of UBC’s most exemplary alumni.  Bob has dedicated much of his life, expertise and resources to building a brighter future for British Columbians and Canadians, and he embodies the mission of UBC and its vision for its alumni.  He is a most worthy recipient of the 2018 CCAE Friend of Education Award. 

Bob was born and raised in Vancouver. He learned the traditional Confucian values of humility, modesty, honesty, studiousness, and social duty from his father, Ronald Bick Lee. These values are deeply ingrained in him and have had a significant impact on his success later in life. After graduating in 1956 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, he embarked on a successful career in real estate and founded the Prospero Group of Companies.

Over the years, Bob has contributed significantly to the city of Vancouver and the province of BC, and has touched the lives of many. He has set the bar for community involvement through tireless commitment to many organizations, including the Robert Lee YMCA, the Robert & Lily Lee Family Community Health Centre and the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. In 2017, Bob became the honorary Chair of the YMCA’s What Really Matters $140 million capital campaign to serve 200,000 more people by creating four new centres of community in Surrey, Vancouver, Coquitlam, and Chilliwack. Bob is past director of many companies, the most notable being Wall Financial Corporation, B.C. Telephone Co. (Telus), Crown Life Insurance Corp., and CN Railway. He is a member of the Order of British Columbia and the Order of Canada.

Bob has been extremely devoted to the service of his alma mater starting at the board level since 1984 when he began serving two terms on the UBC Board of Governors from 1984 to 1990. He was then elected chancellor in 1993. He was also chair of the UBC Foundation, and honorary chair of UBC's start an evolution campaign which raised more than $1.6 billion and engaged 130,000 alumni in support of transformative education, groundbreaking research and community education. UBC awarded Bob an honorary doctorate degree in 1996, in 2006 UBC established the Robert H. Lee Graduate School at the Sauder School of Business in recognition of Bob and his family’s generous gift to support graduate business education, and the university named the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre in his honour; it opened in 2015.

The greatest of Bob's many contributions to UBC, and the one of which he is most proud, is the creation of UBC Properties Trust, which he founded in 1988 and where he served as chairman for 23 years. The trust was the first in North America to sell market housing on a university campus on leased land, allowing UBC to maintain ownership of the land while earning the university over $1.35 billion dollars to date, and a projected $4 billion dollars in perpetuity. Bob’s vision has inspired similar projects at universities around the world, making this one of the single most influential ideas for bolstering education funding in recent history.


2018 CCAE Outstanding Achievement Award

Dianne Spencer
Executive Director, College Advancement & External Relations
Loyalist College, Belleville, Ontario

Supported by Manulife

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A long-time advancement champion who excels at building relationships with community partners and government officials, donors and college Presidents, students and staff, Board members and campaign leaders, Dianne Spencer deeply merits the 2018 CCAE Outstanding Achievement Award.

Dianne, who is retiring this summer, has worked at Loyalist College since 1987 in roles that have included teaching, Director of Community Affairs and Special Projects, and Executive Director of College Advancement & External Relations. Prior to joining the College staff, Dianne served two terms on the Loyalist Board of Governors (1980 – 85), concluding with a term as Chair.

A clear indication of Dianne’s institutional commitment and knowledge, she served as Interim President of the Loyalist following the retirement of Maureen Piercy in August 2016 until November 2016, when President Ann Marie Vaughan was appointed.

Dianne has played a lead role in College capital campaigns, including the building of The Parrott Centre and The Bay of Quinte Skills Centre on campus, and the establishment of the Weston Family Scholarship program in the skilled trades. The latter began as a pilot project in 2013 with just 15 students and apprentices, and has since grown to support more than 150 students entering skilled trades programs, taught in The Bay of Quinte Skills Centre. The pilot project at Loyalist has led to the expansion of the program to a number of other colleges across the country, through the Weston Family Scholarship program, supporting students in skilled trades.

She is a founding director of The Loyalist College Foundation, and has served as an ex officio director and officer since it was established in 1995. Since then the Foundation endowment fund for student financial assistance has grown to $11 million.

Under Dianne’s leadership, the College Advancement and External Relations portfolio has been a key driver of College growth and student/graduate success through fundraising, awards, alumni activities, marketing, recruitment and career services as well as media, government and community relations. 

“Dianne has been deeply devoted to improving equity and access to post-secondary education through the development and delivery of significant programs and projects that support student and graduate success,” said Loyalist College President & CEO, Ann Marie Vaughan. “She has dedicated her career to the advancement of individuals in the Bay of Quinte region, where she was born and raised, by enhancing opportunities for personal and professional growth. Dianne has been instrumental in forging connections with the communities we serve, and her efforts will have a lasting impact on the College’s social and economic wellbeing.”

Dianne has served as a Director of the Canadian Council on Advancement in Education (CCAE) Board and on the previous CCAE-Ontario Board. She was a Board member on the Bay of Quinte Living Council and is a former President of the Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) Quinte Roundtable. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Belleville, and has been awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship by the club in recognition of her commitment to community service.

Said past Loyalist College President, Maureen Piercy (2005 – 16): “Dianne is an exceptional and accomplished development and advancement professional, but even more than that – she is an exceptional individual. Dianne’s integrity, passion for excellence, deep belief in education as empowerment, and commitment to community, are unique in my experience of working with many outstanding individuals during a 40-year career in the Ontario post-secondary sector.”


2018 CCAE Rising Star Award

Christine Richard, Alumni Officer, Student and Alumni Engagement
Brock University





A six-year employee of Brock University, Christine Richard has earned the 2018 CCAE Rising Star Award for her exceptional touch with special events, can-do attitude and skills at building alumni engagement. Praised as a dedicated advancement officer who “commits her time, talents and efforts into building the reputation of Brock University,” Christine is a dedicated, creative advancement professional who is making a mark in alumni relations and imaginative event planning.

Christine ensures that Brock graduates understand the value of their degree and continue to be engaged alumni after leaving campus. She seamlessly connects with departments such as Career Services, Athletics and senior administration, and finds new opportunities to engage alumni at community events.

As Brock’s inaugural Alumni Officer, Student and Alumni Engagement since 2015, Christine has developed and executed sold-out events such as Brock's Grad Send-Off - a celebration for the graduating class in collaboration with the Alumni Office, Career Education Office and the Goodman School of Business Career Office - the 50th Anniversary Homecoming Red Dinner for over 500 guests, and Brock Night at the Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. As Brock’s 50th Anniversary Special Events Coordinator in 2014, Christine re -energized Homecoming activities at unique, highly successful events.

Over the past four years, Christine has grown the Grad Send-Off from 350 in attendance to 1,200, representing some 30% of the graduating class. She oversaw alumni programming at the Steel Blade tailgate party and hockey game, Brock's signature Homecoming  event and the best-attended university hockey game in Ontario history (4,975 fans attended in  2017).

Christine partners with the undergraduate and graduate students’ associations on events and activities that engage both alumni and students. “A grad class gift is part of the graduating class strategy, and Christine has been working hard to build a culture of philanthropy among current students,” notes Shelley Huxley, Director of Alumni Engagement.

“I'm always impressed by her attention to detail, diplomacy when inevitable challenges arise, and passion for an event's success,” says Amanda Laprise, Brand Engagement Officer, Brock University Marketing and Communications. “She's able to see the big picture while ensuring key performance indicators are met.”

While Christine’s skill at producing elaborate events is already renowned, “she is evolving beyond being an outstanding event coordinator to having an astute understanding of alumni needs and the programing required to meet those needs,” says Susan LeBlanc, Manager, Marketing, Communications and Alumni Relations at Brock’s Goodman School of Business.

She also serves as a liaison and mentor with the Brock Student Alumni Association. “Christine has been able to nurture the Brock Student Alumni Association into leaders who are ambassadors for creating meaningful student-alumni connections, are rock-star volunteers and are passionate for giving back to the University,” says Celyn Talaue, Events and Marketing Assistant.

Her combination of skills, attitude, strategic planning, attention to detail and collaborative zeal make Christine Richard a shining exemplar of the CCAE Rising Star.