Okanagan College is bestowing its highest honour on three notable Okanagan residents, each of whom has made unique and meaningful contributions through public service, mentorship and philanthropy.
Tom Christensen, Robert Louie and George Galbraith will be named Honorary Fellows of Okanagan College during Convocation ceremonies in Kelowna and Vernon this June.
Two of the three honorary Okanagan residents, Christensen and Galbraith, are from Vernon.
“The accomplishments of this year’s Honorary Fellows are hard to summarize,” said Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton. “Their contributions have had a lasting impact on so many individuals and communities. It is a great privilege to welcome them to the Okanagan College family.”
Christensen is well-known for his contributions in the province through Aboriginal relations and reconciliation, as well as community volunteerism.
“I am humbled to be recognized as an Honorary Fellow of Okanagan College,” says Christensen. “I am a big fan of our College, the leading work it is doing in the post-secondary education sector in our province, and the services it provides to residents throughout our region.”
Galbraith, known for his philanthropy and civic spirit, is a business leader and stalwart supporter of many projects close to his heart in the Okanagan, including the Okanagan Rails to Trails Campaign, Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation and North Okanagan Community Foundation.
Galbraith has worn many hats at Okanagan College, first as an instructor at the Vernon campus in 1973, then on the College’s Board of Directors for six years.
In 2017, Galbraith donated $250,000 towards the Okanagan College Foundation’s Bright Horizons – Building for Skills campaign for the new Trades Training Centre at the Vernon campus. He also funds two scholarships at the College: H.W Galbraith Memorial Award and the Kieran Galbraith Memorial Award.
Louie is the former Chief (24 years) of the Westbank First Nation and has served on numerous boards, companies and special appointments with government and private industry for more than 30 years.
“I feel honored, blessed, humbled and am beaming with enthusiasm to be recognized as an Honorary Fellow with Okanagan College,” says Louie. “The past recipients are individuals of such high distinction and are deserving of the recognition. To be recognized amongst them is a wonderful and humbling experience.”
Louie will address graduates at the morning ceremony on Saturday, June 1 in Kelowna.
Christensen will speak at the ceremony in Vernon on Tuesday, June 25.
Galbraith will deliver his address in an evening ceremony on Thursday, June 27
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