CBU Celebrates Alumni with 6th Annual Awards Gala

Recipients of the 2015 CBU Alumni Awards gather after Alumni Gala.  Present in photo (top row from left to right) Dan Christmas accepting on behalf of Chief Terry Paul, Lifetime Achievement Award; Scott MacQuarrie accepting on behalf of the Cape Breton Post, Friend of CBU Award (Bottom Row left to right)  Edward Cross, Young Alumnus of the Year; Valarie Sampson, Alumna of the Year; and Rany Ibrahim, International Alumnus of the Year.

Recipients of the 2015 CBU Alumni Awards gather after Alumni Gala. Present in photo (top row from left to right) Dan Christmas accepting on behalf of Chief Terry Paul, Lifetime Achievement Award; Scott MacQuarrie accepting on behalf of the Cape Breton Post, Friend of CBU Award
(Bottom Row left to right) Edward Cross, Young Alumnus of the Year; Valarie Sampson, Alumna of the Year; and Rany Ibrahim, International Alumnus of the Year.

The Cape Breton University (CBU) Alumni Association hosted its sixth annual Alumni Awards Gala on Thursday, November 19, at the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment on the CBU campus.  Each year, the CBU Alumni Association comes together to celebrate the personal and professional successes of its outstanding alumni. The event recognized the achievements of alumni in the following award categories: Alumna of the Year, Young Alumnus of the Year, Cape Breton University Alumni Lifetime Achievement, International Alumnus of the Year and Friend of Cape Breton University.

Valarie Sampson, recipient of the Alumna of the Year Award, is recognized as an outstanding volunteer and community member, as well as a leading entrepreneur and business woman in the real estate business. Valarie is very thankful for her experience at CBU and shares that pride with her two daughters who are also CBU graduates. Valarie graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2006 and is always quick to credit CBU for providing her the foundation for such a rewarding and successful career.

Edward Cross, recipient of the Young Alumnus of the Year Award, graduated from CBU with a Bachelor of Science Degree in 2010. Edward says that his time spent at CBU was what helped him realize his passion for Chemistry. Working part-time conducting research while completing his degree allowed Edward to gain hands on experience, which he notes as such an important part of the learning experience. Now, working back at his alma mater as a Green Mining Technologist, Edward is very proud to be contributing to the institution through his career.

Chief Terry Paul, the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, is the Chief of Membertou, a position he has held for the past 30 years. During that time, Chief Paul has guided his community and administration into one of the most open and efficient Aboriginal communities in the country.  Chief Paul has achieved many notable accomplishments in his current role including doubling the land base for the Membertou Reserve and increasing the employment rate within Membertou to nearly 80% in the community. Chief Paul was recognized with an Honorary Degree from Cape Breton University in 2010.

Rany Ibrahim, recipient of the International Alumnus of the Year Award, graduated in 2006 with a Master of Businesses Administration in Community Economic Development Degree from CBU.  Mr. Ibrahim has been a member of the CBU Board of Governor’s since 2010 and was recognized among the Top 25 Immigrants in Canada in 2013 from the Canadian Immigrant Magazine & RBC Royal Bank. He is a native of Egypt, but currently resides in Halifax, NS. Rany has over two decades of international business experience in private, NGO and public sector organizations.

The Cape Breton Post, recipient of the Friend of CBU Award, plays a vital role in how Cape Bretoner’s receive the news.  The Cape Breton Post provides our community with a place to learn about current, relevant, important information and often is a big part in telling the stories and news from CBU to the community. The Cape Breton Post plays host to the popular alumni column that is published each week called “Whatever Happened to” which highlights graduates of CBU and what they are doing today.

“The Alumni Awards Gala is an opportunity for our alumni association to celebrate and honour the outstanding alumni that CBU has graduated. The individuals that were recognized tonight have been leaders in their field, supporters of the University, and role models for current students at CBU. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to highlight some of the amazing graduates that are part of the CBU alumni family,” says Darlene Sponagle, President CBU Alumni Association.