Feature Story

2022 Alumni Award Winners 

Celebrating three exceptional Allisonians
By: Meredith Lewis (’24), Layton Fisher Intern in Philanthropy

Dr. Robert (Bob) Hawkes (’72, ‘78)
The Charles Frederick Allison Award

The Charles Frederick Allison Award, named in honour of the University founder, serves to acknowledge an Allisonian who has demonstrated exceptional, lifelong dedication to Mount Allison.

Many alumni can pinpoint the moment they knew Mount Allison would be their university of choice. For Dr. Robert (Bob) Hawkes’ (’72, ‘78), it happened on his first visit to campus. No one in his family had attended university, but an alumnus and member of his community took time off work to bring Hawkes to Sackville.

“That was the start of me becoming a Mountie,” says Hawkes.

Hawkes graduated with a Bachelor of Science (physics) (’72) and a Bachelor of Education (’78). He left Mount Allison to complete his MSc and PhD at the University of Western Ontario but returned to campus as a faculty member in 1980.

For three decades, Mount Allison was his home, and he loved its sense of community and collegiality.

“Just a few steps away you could interact with some of the most creative and interesting researchers, creators, and thought leaders in the world,” he says.

Himself a world-renowned astronomer, Hawkes participated in major international research projects that took him as far as the Gobi Desert in Mongolia and the Negev in Israel, but he remained as interested in teaching as he was in research.

“Some of my favourite memories of Mount Allison are working with undergraduate teaching assistants, interacting with students, and trying new and innovative teaching tools,” he says.

His passion for teaching earned him the Paul Paré Excellence Award in 1999 and the Canadian Association of Physicists’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching Physics in 2000.

Hawkes’ contributions to the Mount Allison community go far beyond his role as an educator and scholar. Over the years, he served as Life Class Officer ’72, Member of the Board of Regents, alumni volunteer, and fundraiser.

“Mount Allison has enriched my life in so many ways over many decades,” says Hawkes.

Now retired and living in Victoria, BC, Hawkes is confident alumni can help attract prospective students just by sharing what they love about Mount A.

“You can make a difference in someone’s life,” he says. “I know because that’s how I was introduced to Mount Allison.”

Dr. William McIntyre (’06)
Contemporary Achievement Award

The Contemporary Achievement Award recognizes an Allisonian who has made outstanding accomplishments early in their career.

A second-generation Allisonian, Dr. William McIntyre (’06) arrived at Mount Allison as one of the University’s inaugural Bell Scholars and spent the next four years actively participating in campus and community life.

“I left Mount Allison believing that I could do or try anything,” says McIntyre.

He continued his education at Queen’s University, where he earned a MD and secured a position in the Internal Medicine residency training program. While there, he discovered a passion for cardiology.

“In the early years of medical school, you sample a little bit of everything. You spend a day in surgery, a day in psychiatry, and a day in cardiology. I hadn’t realized until that point that cardiologists could go inside people’s bodies, could fix big emergencies, with a tiny catheter. I think in that moment I knew I wanted to be a cardiologist,” he says.

He continued his training in cardiology at the St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg, MB, and was later recruited to pursue doctoral studies at the Population Health Research Institute at McMaster University in Hamilton, ON, where he recently completed his PhD and accepted a position as Assistant Professor.

McIntyre’s accomplishments are many: he has published over 100 scientific papers, including in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association and the European Heart Journal; co-created the Cardiac Arrhythmia Network of Canada’s trainee program; created an Early-Career Working Group with the Canadian Cardiovascular Society; was co-lead on a national initiative to update the society’s methodology for national clinical practice guidelines; and has won numerous awards and competitive research grants.

An advocate for patients from coast to coast, McIntyre's quality of care, research, and community service is exemplary.

Two decades after coming to campus, McIntyre still praises Mount Allison for providing him with a strong educational base.

“Mount Allison was a place of opportunities and gave me the space to try new things,” he says. “I think I brought that mindset with me as I advanced my career.”

Maura Hunter (’79)
Lifetime Achievement Award

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of a graduate in their chosen professional field.

Maura Hunter (’79) has been an advocate for youth with disabilities and exceptionalities for over 50 years.

Originally from Sackville, Hunter’s interest in disability advocacy began at Mount Allison when a friend invited her to work at a camp for people with physical and intellectual disabilities. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in 1979, she began working at a school for the hearing impaired in Amherst, NS. This experience led to Hunter’s return to her alma mater for a Bachelor of Education.

Over the years, she led multiple Special Olympic teams from Nova Scotia and Canada to medal standings in both swimming and snowshoeing; founded the women’s Cobequid Educational Centre Soccer Program; co-chaired the 2019 Colchester Community Workshop Foundation fundraiser, where she helped raise $3.5M to secure professional development and social and training programs for people with intellectual disabilities; and brought the Listening Centre, a program that helps children and adults with reading and learning challenges, to Truro, NS.

Hunter believes even small acts of kindness can have a positive impact on others.

“Those of us who are privileged and have been given unique opportunities can make a difference by paying it forward,” she says.

For Hunter, Mount Allison is a family tradition: her father, Don Cameron (‘50), was Registrar for many years, and all three of her siblings also attended Mount A: Ian Cameron (’76), Dr. Jean Cameron (’78), and Alexander Cameron (’82). It’s where she met her husband Jol Hunter (’80), and where her daughter Emily Hunter (’16), as well as nieces Emma Cameron (’22) and Abby Hunter (’12), decided to study.

When asked what makes Mount Allison the kind of place that attracts generations of families, Hunter points to several factors.

“It’s unique because of its small size. It’s unique because it not only permits you to chart your own course but encourages it. It feels like a community more than an institution,” she says.