Honorary Fellows and Distinguished Service

Since 2006, Okanagan College has been presenting Honorary Fellow and Distinguished Service 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.

honoree medal

Nominations for 2021 Honorary Fellows are now being accepted

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 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.

2019 Honorary Fellow Award Recipients

Previous Honorary Fellow Award Recipients

Mollie QuilQuil Sneena Bono
Rick Thorpe
Patrick Waunch

Rod Butters
Norm Embree
Rick Pushor
Annette Sharkey

Yasmin John-Thorpe
Lane Merrifield
Janet Shaw

Charles Armstrong
Robert Fine
Barbara Marchand


Albert Baldeo
Mike Roberts
Lois Serwa

Randy Manuel
Sharon Shepherd
Edna Terbasket

Garry Benson
Raghwa Gopal
Jim Henderson
Margriet Ruurs

Bev Busson
Mel Kotler
Tom Landecker

Jeanette Armstrong
Richard Cannings
Robert Cannings
Syd Cannings
Ken Harding

William Redmond
Anthony von Mandl
Dr. Rita Winkler

Alan Gatzke
Barry Lapointe
Ernie Phillip

Peter Haubrich
George and Trudy Heiss
Dorothy Tinning

Ross Gorman
Lorraine McGrath
Ken Smedley

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 2021 Distinguished Service Award are now being accepted

2019 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Retired Okanagan College Dean of the Okanagan School of Business, Dr. Heather Banham, is this year’s Distinguished Service Award recipient.

Banham worked at the College for 24 years and wore many hats. She was a professor, department chair, Associate Dean and Dean of the Okanagan School of Business. Upon her retirement in 2017, the business program boasted more than 2,000 students on four campuses.

In 2014, Banham was recognized nationally for receiving the Fellowship designation by the Certified General Accountants (CGA) Association, the highest honour that can be given to a member of the association. The award acknowledged her time on the B.C. CGA board of directors where she served from 2011-2015 as second Vice Chair Board and First Vice Chair. In 2016, Banham was appointed as Chair, CPABC Board of Directors for 2017/2018.

Previous Distinguished Service Award Recipients

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