Okanagan College News 2008

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2008 Honorary Fellows Named
MEDIA RELEASE - MAY 2, 2008


Five prominent citizens
to be honoured at College’s Convocations


A prominent Okanagan Nation educator and writer, three brothers best known for their contributions to the appreciation of nature, and a well-known area businessman will be recognized as Honorary Fellows this June by Okanagan College.

Jeannette Armstrong, the Executive Director of Penticton’s internationally-renowned En’owkin Centre, will be made an Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College at the June 7th afternoon Convocation at the Kelowna campus.

Brothers Syd, Dick and Rob Cannings – each of whom have had distinguished careers as biologists – will be recognized with the designation at the College’s morning Convocation on June 7.
Ken Harding, a retired partner in Whillis Harding Insurance Agencies and a prominent volunteer and community supporter in the Central Okanagan, will be honored at the June 26th Summer Convocation.

“These five individuals represent much of what is to be admired in the Okanagan’s best citizens and ambassadors,” notes Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Jeannette Armstrong has distinguished herself in her role with the En’owkin Centre, but she has also established an international reputation as an author and as an activist. Her focus on providing First Nations students a voice through writing and an appreciation of their culture and history has earned her the respect of her peers and her people.”

“The Cannings have followed in their father Steve’s footsteps to bring British Columbians and Canadians to a richer appreciation of the natural world, through their writings, professional activities and dedication,” Hamilton said. Rob is the Curator of Entomology at the Royal British Columbia Museum, while Syd is the program zoologist of NatureServe Yukon. Dick continues to reside in Naramata, where he is a well-known naturalist, conservationist, birder, writer and broadcaster. The Cannings have written numerous books, many of them collaborations with each other, including “Birds of the Okanagan Valley” and “British Columbia: a Natural History.”

 “Ken Harding is a perennial supporter and champion of good causes, a businessman who has made improving the region an avocation. His colleagues, his friends, and many community leaders know what an asset Ken has been to the Okanagan,” says Hamilton. In 2005, he was honoured with a Community Distinction Award by the United Way of the Central and South Okanagan. He has been President of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, Governor of the Kinsmen Clubs of British Columbia, a founding member of the Central Okanagan Bursary and Scholarship Society, a member of the Central Okanagan Foundation, and a member of the board of BCIT.

Harding, Armstrong, and the Cannings join a small group of Honourary Fellows of Okanagan College which includes Albert Baldeo, Mike Roberts, Lois Serwa, Ken Smedley, Ross Gorman, and Lorraine McGrath.