Chancellor Jim Dinning says his 11 years in public office was about making a difference, not winning accolades.
“At the time, you are rewarded by your quiet pride in your accomplishments,” said Dinning, who served in several cabinet positions in the Don Getty and Ralph Klein governments including as education minister.
But after a lifetime of public service, Dinning has joined a growing number of university faculty, staff, board members and alumni to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.
Rewarding individuals who are actively working to improve their communities is the main goal behind the formation of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. This year, 60,000 Canadians will receive the award commemorating Her Majesty the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
University of Calgary creative writing and Canadian literature professor Aritha van Herk was recognized alongside Dinning in the Nov. 30th Diamond Jubilee medal ceremony.
The well-known author was proud to have been recognized for her work as a writer, teacher and public supporter of the arts and culture.
“It's a beautiful, inclusive ceremony, and yet it was very Albertan in its own distinctive way,” van Herk said afterwards.
As Dinning received his Diamond Jubilee medal on the same day as van Herk, he couldn’t help thinking of his family’s longstanding commitment to public service.
“It’s something in our blood,” said Dinning, whose great-grandfather, grandfather, brother, wife and children have all either run for public office, sat on provincial boards or helped volunteer with the Calgary Stampede.
“I love it. I get a lot of satisfaction from helping the community,” Dinning said.
The ever-increasing number of Jubilee medal recipients with strong ties to the University of Calgary demonstrates the depth of service and leadership generated by our campus community.
For van Herk, mingling with such a diverse group of individuals working to improve society was inspiring.
“The ceremony was a reminder — again — of the many outstanding people who are talented and committed to community, who do so much for this province and this city. It is humbling to be included among them,” van Herk said.
The University of Calgary’s growing list of Diamond Jubilee medal honourees includes:
Graham Abela, Faculty of Education
Help us celebrate the amazing contributions of our University of Calgary community. If you know of an alumni, faculty or staff member who has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal and is not included in this list, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org