The 21st Annual School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) Gala was held at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier on March 9, 2018. This year, the event brought together over 100 students, alumni, faculty and professionals from the field of public policy and administration to celebrate professional and academic achievements. It was a wonderful night of networking, dinner and dancing, with a keynote address by Michael Wernick, the 23rd and current Clerk of the Privy Council.
Students, alumni, faculty and professionals showed up to the event in their best evening formal wear. Starting the evening off with a cocktail reception with passed hor d’oeuvres, the foyer buzzed with chatter and excitement. For many, this was an opportunity to connect with old friends, faculty, alumni, sponsors and guest speakers, and to make new connections. Once ushered into the Drawing Room, MCs Alex Russell and Anna Tsui kept the crowd engaged and entertained as they went through the formal dinner program. As guests enjoyed their three-course meal catered by the Chateau Laurier, VP Community Audrey Tong, Director Graeme Auld, and Dean Andre Plourde offered opening remarks to welcome all the guests, and to highlight the School’s many successes.
Over dessert, Michael Wernick provided his keynote address, and engaged in a short Q&A session with the audience. As an opportunity for personal reflection, the Clerk spoke about the type of advice he would now give to his younger self entering and working in the public service – things he is aware of now, in himself and in the environment, that he would have benefited from had he known them earlier. He also offered his views on what it means to serve, and what it means to lead, regardless of one’s level. The students were particularly appreciative of his frank and candid advice. You can read a transcript of his speech on the Privy Council Office, Government of Canada website.
Next on the agenda, the Awards Ceremony was a great way to acknowledge and celebrate student, faculty and alumni successes. First, the SPPA Cup was presented to Christopher Stoney, who accepted on behalf of the faculty. The annual faculty vs. student soccer challenge provided a great opportunity for students and faculty to mingle outside the classroom, and the students are eagerly practicing over the summer in anticipation for the rematch in September. Next, Director Graeme Auld presented the student awards to several graduate and PhD students in recognition of their academic achievements. Jacky Tran and Sue Sriprom then awarded the SPPA Excellence in Teaching Award to Leslie Pal to acknowledge his contributions to the School. Lastly, the Bissett Alumni Award for Distinctive Contributions to the Public Sector was presented by Joe Bissett to George Zegarac for his contributions to the public service.
The event was not possible without the hard work and dedication of the SPPA faculty, administration and gala committee members, as well as the support from our generous sponsors
including the School of Public Policy and Administration, the Faculty of Public Affairs, Deloitte, AFOA Canada, PSAC, IPAC-NCR, E.T. Jackson and Associates, and Stratos.
Thank you to all those who joined us for this spectacular event. We look forward to seeing you at the 22nd Annual School of Public Policy and Administration (SPPA) Gala in March 2019!