Okanagan College Honorees

Honorary Fellows and
Distinguished Service

Since 2006, Okanagan College has been presenting Honorary Fellow Awards to deserving individuals as part of its annual Convocation Ceremonies. The awards recognize distinguished achievement or service and the recipients represent a broad spectrum of regional, provincial, national and international contributions. The awards acknowledge a diverse array of people, from those who have advanced literacy among youth to individuals whose work has helped create awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal culture. A list of recipients can be found below.

Nominations for 2019 Honorary Fellows are being accepted until November 5, 2018. Download nomination form here


Honorary Fellow Medal

Description of the Honorary Fellow Award & Criteria

The award of an Honorary Fellow is recognition by Okanagan College of distinguished achievement or outstanding service.

The criteria for the award are mentorship, excellence, eminence and accomplishment.

The College welcomes nominations (link to PDF of nomination form) that reflect the values of the College and the diversity of Canadian society. Nominees will be persons who have made significant contributions to the College, the Okanagan Valley, the Province, the Nation or on an international level.

The award will not normally be given to a serving politician or current employee of the College.

Nominations are reviewed by a standing committee of Okanagan College’s Education Council and confidential recommendations for recognition are made to the Education Council and the Board of Governors.

2018 Recipients:

See press release here
Mollie QuilQuil Sneena Bono
Mollie QuilQuil Sneena Bono

Mollie QuilQuil Sneena Bono has been an educator and a passionate proponent of education for much of her life.

Examples of her dedication to sharing knowledge, and kindling in others a love of education, can be seen in her work as a member and past Councillor of the Okanagan Indian Band, as Program Director for the First Nations Friendship Centre, and as a trustee with School District #22 in Vernon.

She has worked with the Social Planning Council and other allies in Vernon to advance Reconciliation and Healing, hosting community talks and fostering dialogue whenever she can.

Rick Thorpe
Rick Thorpe

Rick Thorpe has been a passionate supporter of education in the region for more than two decades, along with many other forms of public service and community involvement.

He served as Member of the Legislative Assembly from 1996 to 2009.

Rick and his wife Yasmin are well known in the region for their philanthropic work. As of 2018, the Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship established in 2006 has awarded $112,250 to 53 students entering Okanagan College. The Thorpes also served as Honorary Co-Chairs of the fundraising campaign for the Centre of Excellence in Penticton.

Patrick Waunch
Patrick Waunch

Patrick Waunch has been a dedicated advocate for trades education in the Okanagan and throughout the Central Interior for nearly 30 years. Locally, he is known in the industry and in the community for his accomplishments and contributions as President and CEO of Rambow Mechanical Ltd.

Patrick has a long association with Okanagan College. He’s served as Chair of the Program Advisory Committee since 2012. He served as a Sector Chair for the Okanagan College Foundation’s fundraising campaign for the Trades Complex at the Kelowna campus and through his company contributed $50,000 to support the construction of a classroom in the new building. His dedication to apprenticeship for trades led to the Southern Interior Construction Association establishing the Patrick Waunch Scholarship Award that provides $3,500 annually to a mechanical trades apprentice at Okanagan College.




Previous Year's Recipients:


Randy Manuel
Randy Manuel
Sharon Shepherd
Sharon Shepherd
Edna Terbasket
Edna Terbasket



Anthony von Mandl
William Redmond
Dr. Rita Winkler


Annette Sharkey
Norm Embree
Rick Pushor
Rod Butters


Margriet Ruurs
Jim Henderson
Raghwa Gopal
Garry Benson


Ernie Philip
Alan Gatzke
Barry Lapointe


Janet Shaw
Lane Merrifield
Yasmin John-Thorpe


Bev Busson
Tom Landecker
Mel Kotler


Dorothy Tinning
George and Trudy Heiss
Peter Haubrich


Barbara Marchand
Charles Armstrong
Robert Fine


Syd Cannings
Dick Cannings
Robert Cannings
Jeanette Armstrong
Ken Harding


Ken Smedley
Lorraine McGrath
Ross Gorman


Lois Serwa
Albert Baldeo
Mike Roberts




Distinguished Service Award Recipients:

This award is to honour and recognize former Okanagan College employees, who have given outstanding service to Okanagan College, who share and support the mission, vision and values of Okanagan College, and who are active within and outside the Okanagan College community. This award will not be given as a matter of routine and is extended to only those who are most deserving.

Nominations for the 2019 Distinguished Service Award are being accepted until November 5, 2018. Download nomination form here

Rick Gee


Rick Gee
Former Chair of Okanagan College’s Education Council and longtime professor of Computer Science
A retired employee who assembled an impressive career that spanned 30 years and five days is recognized by Okanagan College with the Distinguished Service Award. Gee has left an indelible mark on the institution’s curriculum and program development after dedicating more than three decades to supporting students and enhancing academic standards. Gee is the fifth person in College history to receive the award, which is the highest honour bestowed upon a former employee.


John Lent
John Lent


Catherine Williams
Catherine Williams


Gary Dickinson
Gary Dickerson


Lynda Wilson
Lynda Wilson


Okanagan University College
Honorary Doctorates


Katy Bindon
William Bowering
Roy Brown
Rowland Grant
Mike Harcourt
Ronald Jeffels
Tom Kerr
Graham Smith
Miho Steinberg
Guy Tousignant
Steven Tuck
Norman Walker
Peter Williams


Arthur Carty
Andrea Deakin
Lambert Schmalz
Alison Smith
Gerry Zimmermann


James English
D. Ross Fitzpatrick
Thomas Foord
Jack Whyte


Daphne Odjig
Patricia Proudfoot


Mary Louie
Harry McWatters


Tony Onley
John Woodowrth


Roger Ames
Stephen Cannings
Vicki Gabereau
John Thomson


Charles Fipke


Okanagan University College
Distinguished Service Award Recipients


Graham Bruce


Gary Mellor


Alex Recsky