Distinguished Community Service Award

Distinguished Community Service Award

The Distinguished Community Service Award is presented to a member of the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association who has made an outstanding contribution to their community and or to Saint Mary’s.

All University employees and members of the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association may submit a one-page letter of recommendation for a candidate, illustrating their suitability for this award. A completed Alumni Awards Nomination Form must accompany the letter.   

Selection Candidates are considered annually by the Saint Mary's University Alumni Association's Awards & Nomination Committee.TimelineThe deadline to nominate a candidate for the 2024 Distinguished Community Service Award is September 20, 2024.

Nomination Form

2023 Recipient The Honourable Terry Mercer BA'71 LLD'13 

Terry Mercer

Senator Terry Mercer was appointed to the Senate by the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien in 2003. He represented the province of Nova Scotia and the Senatorial Division of North End Halifax until his retirement in 2022. Senator Mercer graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Mary’s in 1971, received an Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law in 2013 and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive. 
Senator Mercer served as the Director of Fundraising of the Liberal Party of Canada and later as National Director. Before to this, he held a variety of positions with various charitable institutions, including the Metro Toronto Branch of the Canadian Diabetes Association, YMCA of Greater Toronto, Nova Scotia Lung Association, St. John Ambulance Nova Scotia Council, and the Kidney Foundation of Canada (Nova Scotia Branch). 
Senator Mercer was very active in the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and is a former Chair of the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy (Canada) and served on the AFP Association Board of Directors and the AFP Canada Council.  We are celebrating National Philanthropy today and every November 15 since 2012, thanks to legislation he introduced.  
Senator Mercer and his wife Ellen, also a graduate of Saint Mary’s, live in Mount Uniacke, NS and have one son, Michael, daughter-in-law Lisa Courtney, and grandchildren, Ellie and Oliver. 
Terry has dedicated most of his life to the service of Nova Scotians and  Canadians and continues to exemplify the Santamarian spirit through his impact in the community, locally and nationally. 

Past Recipients 

  • 2022: The Honourable Dr. Mayann Francis BA'72 DCL'12, ONS and Alan Maingot DipENG'81 
  • 2021: Floyd Kane BA’92 
  • 2020: Senator Wilfred P. Moore QC BComm’64 LLD’07
  • 2019: Karen Oldfield, QC BA'82
  • 2018: James "Skip" Oliver BA'67 LLD'02
  • 2017: Dr. Michael Durland BComm'87 DComm'15 and Catherine Durland BComm'87
  • 2016: Richard Butler BA'69 and Marsha Sobey BEd'82
  • 2015: Cassandra Dorrington and Gerald Walsh
  • 2014: Tom Lee and Claire Miller
  • 2013: Jane Roy
  • 2012: Scott Norton, Fred George and Alex Handyside
  • 2011: David McKeage, Dr. Gerald P. Reardon
  • 2010: Dr. John A. P. Sullivan and Fr. George Leach
  • 2009: Judith Richardson and Wendy Brookhouse
  • 2008: Paul J. Dyer
  • 2005: Carol MacLean & Richard H. “Dick” MacLean
  • 2004: George C. Moffatt
  • 2003: Hector P. Muise and Dr. John C. Young
  • 2002: Angela Vecchio-Ozmon and Kevin Cleary
  • 2001: Allister Byrne
  • 2000 Elizabeth Ozmon & Dr. Kenneth L. Ozmon
  • 1999: Burris Devanney and Terence Donahoe
  • 1998: Paul Goodman
  • 1997: Joseph Bishara
  • 1995-96: Terry Kelly
  • 1993-94: Fred MacGillivray
  • 1992: Karen Henderson
  • 1991: J. Philip Vaughan
  • 1990: Ronald Downie
  • 1989: Paul Gouett
  • 1988: Elizabeth Chard
  • 1986: Harold Beazley
  • 1985: Edmund Morris
  • 1984: Senator Richard Donahoe