Celebrating Distinguished Service

Emeritus is Latin for "those having merited discharge by service".

Langara is proud to announce the 2024 Emeritus Award recipients who will be recognized during the 2024 Convocation Ceremonies, June 18-20, 2024.  

This honourary title has been conferred to the following retired faculty members and professional staff in recognition of their distinguished service to Langara.


2023 Emeritus Award Recipients

Chris Arnold-Forster Director Emeritus, Organizational Risk & Internal Controls

Emeritus_2023_CArnold-Forster-bw.pngDuring his remarkable 25-year association with Langara, Chris Arnold-Forster held various leadership roles, leaving a lasting impact. With a calm and consultative approach, he demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities as the Director of Risk and Internal Controls. Chris’ contributions to system-wide initiatives positioned Langara as a post-secondary education leader. As the Director of the Emergency Operations Centre, he exhibited thoughtful decision-making and confident leadership in different emergency situations. Beyond crisis management, Chris fostered a supportive environment, earning praise for his collaborative nature and ability to address challenges. His involvement in complex projects showcased his impact on shaping the institution’s future. Colleagues commended his exceptional leadership and unwavering dedication, ensuring the College’s continuity. Chris retired from Langara in September 2022, leaving a profound legacy.

Patricia Cia Director Emerita, Academic Innovation

Emeritus_2023_Patricia-Cia-bw.pngPatricia Cia made significant contributions to Langara College during her 16-year tenure. Starting as a librarian, she progressed to become the Director of Academic Innovation, overseeing the Library & Learning Commons, CAPER-BC, Educational Technology, and TCDC. Patricia led the Library through strategic initiatives, redefined copyright management, and initiated programs like Open Langara. She leveraged technology to enhance teaching and learning experiences, supporting faculty in integrating new tools. Patricia's leadership excellence earned her the Langara Leadership Excellence Award in 2013-2014. After retiring in July 2021, she remains engaged in professional associations and pursues her passion for photography. Patricia's dedication and expertise have left a lasting impact on Langara College's academic innovation.

Laura Cullen Faculty Emerita, Nutrition and Food Service Management

Emeritus_2023_Laura-Cullen-bw.pngLaura Cullen has been a prominent figure in the foodservice industry for over four decades, making a significant impact on education and leadership. During her time at Langara College, she held various roles, including instructor, Department Chair of Nutrition and Food Service Management, and Division Chair of both Business and Community Programs, and Social Sciences. Laura's expertise and support led to the development of Langara's original BBA and BRM programs, establishing the college as a leader in business education. Her exceptional service was recognized by esteemed organizations such as The Canadian Society of Nutrition Management, the Canadian Association of Food Service Professionals, and Sandoz Nutrition. Laura retired from Langara in October 2021, leaving behind a profound legacy of dedication to advancing foodservice management in healthcare and transformative education leadership.

Kathryn Shaw Artistic Director Emerita, Theatre Arts

Emeritus_2023_Kathryn-Shaw-bw.pngKathryn Shaw, the former Artistic Director of Studio 58, devoted 46 years to mentoring and teaching aspiring actors. She played a pivotal role in shaping Studio 58, the renowned theater training program, nurturing countless students' talents who are achieving success in film, television, and theater worldwide. Kathryn's remarkable teaching abilities earned her widespread recognition, including a Life Membership in the Canadian Actors Equity Association and a listing among BC's 100 Most Influential Women. Her dedication to excellence led to accolades such as the Vancouver Professional Theatre Alliance Career Achievement Award, the ACCC Bronze Medal for Excellence in Teaching, and induction into the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame. As a director, Kathryn's visionary work garnered nominations and two Jessie Richardson Awards. Now retired, Kathryn has rekindled her acting career, participating in police training scenarios, and exploring playwriting. Her contributions and unwavering commitment to fostering new talent have left an indelible mark on Studio 58 and the Canadian theatre community.

Gordon Trick Faculty Emeritus, Fine Arts

Emeritus_2023_Gordon-Trick-bw.pngGordon Trick's tenure at Langara College brought remarkable achievements to the Fine Arts program. He established the Assistant Department Chair position, created the Fine Art Graduating Exhibition and the Fine Arts Scholarship Fund, and rewrote the curriculum to meet standards and facilitate credit transfers. His efforts increased graduating numbers and introduced the influential FINA Art Theory class in collaboration with Art History. Gordon's innovative recruitment initiatives attracted talented students, and his ‘Langara For Life’ approach helped them at and beyond Langara College. His visionary leadership and dedication to student success have left a lasting impact on Langara College, shaping the Fine Arts program and fostering a supportive artistic community.

2022 Emeritus Award Recipients

Dr. Harry Lendvoy Faculty Emeritus, Kinesiology

Harry LendvoyIn September 2021, Kinesiology instructor, Dr. Harry Lendvoy marked the 50th year of his teaching journey prior to his retirement. Instrumental in course development in the Kinesiology Department, Harry taught more than 12,000 students, and was the Head Coach of the Falcon's men's soccer team from 1973 - 1979. He was a founding Board Member of SportMed BC, and created the BC Sports First Aid Program. Harry was both a Master Course Conductor and a Learning Facilitator for the National Coaching Certification Program, providing coaches across BC with education tools and resources for more than 30 years. 

Patty Moore Faculty Emerita, Women's Studies
Patty Moore

Patty Moore’s dynamism as a feminist visionary, educator, and activist resulted in the creation of Langara’s Diploma in Arts & Science (Women's Studies) in 1990, unrivaled in Western Canada. Patty, now retired, was the Coordinator of Women’s Studies from 1990-2015. Her administrative savvy earned her the role of Chair of the Interdisciplinary Studies Department, where Patty also taught Canadian Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies. Patty co-edited The Journal Project: Dialogues and Conversations inside Women’s Studies (1995), with fellow instructor and their students, which is still in print today. Patty’s personal warmth and friendly determination made her a well-loved and trusted Langaran among colleagues and students alike. 

Dr. Frank Williams Faculty Emeritus, Biology and Interdisciplinary Studies

Frank WilliamsAfter 30 years of teaching at Langara, Dr. Frank Williams retired in 2021. During his tenure he served terms as Chair of both the Biology and Interdisciplinary Studies Departments, Coordinator of Environmental Studies, and Coordinator of Canadian Studies. Using his expertise in ecology, Frank worked collaboratively with colleagues to create programs in environmental studies, including several environmental studies-focused credentials and a field school excursion to the Pacific Rim region of Vancouver Island. He developed and led numerous interdisciplinary field schools, including Fraser River Studies, Haida Gwaii Studies, and two field schools in Thailand. Frank served on the Academic Plan Action Group (APAG) for environmental, financial, and social sustainability and the Langara Faculty Association (LFA) Executive. As an advocate of good environmental practices, Frank also served as a Board Member of Byrne Creek Streamkeepers Society.

2021 Emeritus Award Recipients

Wendy Lannard Director Emerita, Facilities

Emeritus_2021_WLannard.jpgBeginning her career at the College in 1977, Wendy accelerated through many leadership opportunities within the Facilities Department, until she became the Director in 2012. During her illustrious 40-year career at the College, Wendy was instrumental in helping Langara grow into the remarkable institution that it is today. Wendy championed many projects related to all aspects of the Langara community. She played an invaluable role in leading the construction and opening of the LSU and C Building in 2010 and the Science and Technology Building in 2016, both of which were awarded LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Canada Gold Status. In 2011, Wendy received the Langara Service Excellence Award recognizing her exceptional support and service to the College. After retirement in 2017, Wendy has been working closely with the College as a consultant, spearheading the development of Langara’s new Campus Master Plan which recently received rezoning approval from the City.

Gordon McFarlane Faculty Emeritus, School of Management


Gordon McFarlane retired in 2012 from the School of Management. During his 15 years at Langara, he was an instructor, coordinator, department chair, and project leader for the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree program.

Gordon was raised in Glasgow, Scotland, and educated at the University of Strathclyde where he graduated with a BA (Hons) in Marketing & Economics and an MSc in International Marketing. After marrying in 1980, he emigrated to BC where he worked at BC Tel (Telus) for 17 years. While in business, Gordon always had a part-time teaching career, teaching in the evenings and on Saturdays. He accumulated 39 years of part-time and full-time teaching in post-secondary education throughout various colleges and universities in Scotland and BC. Gordon had an incredible passion for teaching, which along with his Scottish accent and quick sense of humour, made him a very popular instructor.

Dr. Rachel Mines Faculty Emerita, English

Emeritus_2021_RMines.jpgDr. Rachel Mines began working at the Langara Library in the late 1970s. She graduated from the Library Technician Program in 1984, and then worked at UBC while completing her BA and MA in English. After obtaining her PhD from King’s College London (UK), Rachel taught in Langara’s English Department from 2002 until she retired in 2020.

In 2016, Rachel developed and taught the two-semester course “Writing Lives: The Holocaust Survivor Memoir Project.” The course partnered Langara students with local Holocaust survivors to write their memoirs. “Writing Lives” has since been revised for survivors of BC’s residential schools.

As well as publishing articles, Rachel has spoken on Holocaust-related themes through the Langara Lecture Series and elsewhere. Her translations of Yiddish short fiction have appeared online and in print, and her ground-breaking book, The Rivals and Other Stories by Jonah Rosenfeld, was published by Syracuse University Press in 2020.

Dr. John Russell Faculty Emeritum, Philosophy

Emeritus_2021_JRussell.jpgAs Chair of the Philosophy Department, Dr. John Russell has demonstrated that philosophy is relevant and practical to people’s lives. From serving as the Chair for the Research Ethics Board to co-founding the Philosophers’ Jam to co-creating the Diploma in Applied Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH) Program, his passion for philosophy has extended beyond the classroom into our community.

He has published extensively on questions related to sport and values, and was awarded the Warren P. Fraleigh Distinguished Scholar Award for the Philosophy of Sport. He was also the editor for the Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. In consultation with the Faculty of Nursing, John carefully developed a biomedical ethics philosophy course within the Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

John was also awarded the inaugural Langara Scholarly Excellence Award. His leadership has had a remarkable impact upon the College.

Dr. Jeffrey Webster Faculty Emeritus, Psychology

Emeritus_2021_JWebster.jpgDr. Jeffrey Webster retired from the Psychology Department after teaching and researching for 35 years. He mentored Langara research methods students, who often won the Allen Cup, awarded for the best research paper, and served as an informal mentor to several doctoral students from international locations. Jeffrey was a founding member of the Langara Research Ethics Board and frequently presented at both Scholarly Activities Day and Langara Community Talks. He developed three research questionnaires which are frequently used around the world and have been translated into more than 20 languages. He has published over 60 peer reviewed articles, including two edited books, and has presented over 60 times at international conferences.

His work has received several honours/awards, including an Endowed Visiting Chair in Gerontology position and the 2019 Langara Scholarly Excellence Award.

2020 Emeritus Award Recipients

Barbara Binns Faculty Emeritum, Interdisciplinary Studies

Emeritus_2020_BBinns.jpgBarbara Binns is a retired Langara Instructor and Coordinator in the Interdisciplinary Studies Department (1988-2006) teaching in Women’s Studies and Canadian Studies. Born in Jamaica, she trained as a nurse in England and immigrated to Canada in 1965 to take a nursing position in the Union Hospital in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Barbara earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Saskatchewan followed by graduate degrees in Social Work and Education from the University of British Columbia. Barbara spent most of her life actively engaged in activities/issues related to human rights, social justice, and community and international development, working with diverse local, national, and international organizations, agencies, and groups within and outside of Canada. 

The diversity of her experiences within Canada, Papua New Guinea, and Southern Africa was evident in her ability to inspire students and colleagues at the College. An outstanding instructor, Barbara has received many awards and accolades for her work in the community, including the inaugural Rosemary Brown Award for Women in 2005, and the Federal Government International Development Education Award in 1994. She served as an Election Observer at the 1994 South African General Election ( i.e. end of the Apartheid political system in South Africa) and was recently honoured as a 49 Langaran. Barbara has maintained close ties to Langara and is a beloved elder and mentor to many.

Lynn Carter Faculty Emerita, Social Services

Lynn Carter is well known at Langara College for her superior leadership – in teaching, in curriculum development, and in policy development. Lynn was also a vital and contributing member of the broader social services community and maintained excellent connections so she could provide Integrated Experiential Learning opportunities for her students in the community. Lynn served as president of the Greater Vancouver Community Services Society for many years. She was also instrumental in the development of a regulatory system for the social work profession in British Columbia and chaired the Board of Registration for Social Workers. In her role as President of the Langara Faculty Association, Lynn was the epitome of professionalism, dedication, and honesty.

Duncan McCallum Director Emeritum, Athletics, and Faculty Emeritum, Kinesiology

Duncan was the men’s basketball coach at Langara College (formerly Vancouver Community College) from 1970 to 1991. He was the institution’s first, and longest serving, Director of Athletics, a title he held from 1970 until retirement in 1994. During that time, he led ten BC Championship teams to the CCAA Championships. He ran one of the most successful and decorated athletic programs in the Province and one of the top college athletic programs in Canada. In 1999, the British Columbia Colleges’ Athletic Association (BCCAA) named the CCAA Duncan McCallum Men’s Basketball Fairplay Award after him for his many years of dedication to college basketball in Canada. Duncan also spent time in the classroom and was an instructor in the Kinesiology (formerly Human Performance) Department throughout his tenure at the College.

2019 Emeritus Award Recipients

Deanna Douglas Vice-President Emerita, Administration and Finance


Deanna Douglas became Langara’s first Bursar when the College gained independence in 1994. She was instrumental in developing Langara’s first administrative team. Working collaboratively within the organization, Deanna’s expertise in financial planning and monitoring led Langara to a strong position of financial sustainability with a foundation for future growth. She was a key player in the development of the 25-year campus masterplan. Prior to retirement in 2013, Deanna held the positions of Vice-President, Administration & Finance, and Vice President, Enrolment Management.

Cheryl McKeeman Faculty Emerita, Mathematics and Statistics

Throughout Cheryl McKeeman’s 37 years of service, she was instrumental in shaping the Langara Faculty Association, championing the rights of students, and mentoring successors. She developed and taught courses in statistics and mathematics and incorporated applied data analysis and real-life data-collection projects to ensure students became informed consumers of data.  Cheryl played a foundational role in building and maintaining a culture of collegiality, cooperation, and collaboration amongst faculty and management at Langara.

Peter Norwood Faculty Emeritus, Langara School of Management

Peter Norwood is an innovative and engaged educator who helped expand Langara’s degree offerings by spearheading the creation of the Bachelor of Business Administration. He was the first Department Chair of the Langara School of Management. Peter also guided the development of Langara’s curriculum to support Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) Canada’s Advanced Certificate in Accounting and Finance. He is the recipient of the CPA Canada Volunteer Award, the Ritchie McCloy Award for Volunteerism, and Langara’s Leadership Excellence Award.

2018 Emeritus Award Recipients

Frances Grunberg Faculty Emerita, Social Service Worker


Frances Grunberg is a recognized expert in the field of child abuse and neglect in BC and beyond. She has led the Child Abuse Team in Vancouver, the Child Protection Consultation Service, and the development of the Risk Assessment Model commissioned by the Ministry for Children and Families. Frances has also consulted for UNICEF on violence against women and children in Sierra Leone. In addition to her widely recognized work on child maltreatment, Frances has worked on the development of curriculum at Langara, both in the Department of Social Service and as the leader in developing Langara’s new Diploma in Gerontology.

Scott Plear Faculty Emeritus, Fine Arts

Scott Plear was a faculty member in the Department of Fine Arts from 1986 to 2013. Throughout this time, he served as both Department and Division Chair while continuing to work professionally as a painter. Scott is known for teaching and mentoring his colleagues and always offering generous encouragement, advice, and support. Scott’s generosity is reflected in his willingness to loan and donate his art work to the college. Langara is fortunate to have these canvases to enhance the campus and inspire future artists. Scott was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2004 and his work has been exhibited internationally at the Eva Cohn Gallery in Chicago, the British Columbia House in England, and the Mobile International Artists’ Workshop Exhibit in Zambia.

Barbara Wuhrer Faculty Emerita, Langara School of Management

Barbara Wuhrer started her career in post secondary education in 1976 and came to Langara in 1984 when the College was still part of Vancouver Community College (VCC). In the 42 years that she’s worked in higher education, Barbara has made significant contributions as an instructor in multiple departments including Langara’s School of Management and the Department of Computing Science and Information Systems. Barbara received professional recognition for her work in pioneering initiatives to develop and implement new systems for online, mixed mode, and in-class course delivery. She also worked as Project Manager for the Educational Technology Department and Langara’s School of Management to implement software College-wide.

2017 Emeritus Award Recipients

Robert Dykstra Faculty Emeritus, Journalism

Rob Dykstra dedicated much of his professional life to teaching generations of journalists – more than 1,000 in total. He retired in 2016 after 32 years of service at Langara as instructor, coordinator, and chair of the Langara Journalism Program, as well as chair of the Creative Arts Division. He oversaw the introduction of new courses, launched the Langara Journalism Review, and taught almost every course in the Journalism Program curriculum. Dykstra created opportunities to connect students with industry professionals; and facilitated student internships and entry-level jobs. Notably, he is a recipient of the Langara Leadership Excellence Award (2005-2006), and more recently, the Bill Good Award, in recognition for his significant contribution to the field of journalism.

Gwyneth Lewis Faculty Emerita, Classical Studies

Gwyneth Lewis developed Langara classical studies into the rigorous and respected program of study it is today. This program, unique among two-year institutions, has helped students prepare for and launch into careers in diverse fields. Throughout her career in the Department of History, Latin, and Political Science, and the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, Lewis exhibited an extraordinary dedication to her students, the program, the field of classical studies, and to Langara. Lewis changed the lives of countless students, helping them view history and the world from new perspectives. As a scholar, Lewis gave lectures at the Langara Lecture Series, the Classical Association f Canada, Pharos, and was involved in the leadership of several prominent classical associations, including the Vancouver chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America. She continues to pursue research in Greek epigraphy and Greek and Latin influence on English.

Peter Prontzos Faculty Emeritus, Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies

Peter Prontzos’ contributions to the College span over 25 years and include teaching in both political science and interdisciplinary studies. He created new courses in political science, latin american studies, and peace and conflict studies, and contributed to an international education program in Greece, as well as educational tours to Greece with Langara’s Department of Continuing Studies. Prontzos served as coordinator of political science, and sat on the hiring committees for both the economics and journalism departments. He was a founding member of the “Transforming Langara Committee,” which promoted sustainability at the College. Prontzos was a perennial speaker at the Langara Community Lecture Series for two decades and presented at the Langara Employee Development Centre professional development seminars. Since retiring in 2015, he continues to lead tours to Greece with Continuing Studies.

Theodore Ryniak Faculty Emeritus, Physics

Born in Poland, and immigrating to Canada in 1928, Ryniak has an accomplished and varied career. After joining the Canadian Air Force as a wireless mechanic during the war, Ryniak attended U.B.C., completing his Masters of Education. Initially teaching elementary school, moving to high school and then adult education, Ryniak has been an inspiring physics teacher. He is an innovator who deeply influenced the high school physics curriculum, co-writing a core text used in the curriculum. He was an inaugural member of Vancouver City College, which later became Langara College and as Department Head, Ryniak continuously upgraded the physics lab program, while designing courses for photography and journalism.

2016 Emeritus Award Recipients

Dr. Martin Gerson Vice-President Academic and Provost Emeritus

Dr. Martin Gerson’s 38-year career at Langara was characterized by distinguished service as a faculty member in the Mathematics Department, Faculty Association President, Division Chair, Dean of Instruction, and the College’s first Vice-President Academic and Provost. His service to the College, internally and externally, professionally and personally, constitutes an unparalleled contribution in the history of the institution. Throughout his career, Dr. Gerson was highly respected and warmly regarded by the Langara community as an ethical leader and trusted colleague who embodied our highly valued collegial model. In 2012 Dr. Gerson was given the Idahlynn Karre International Exemplary Leadership Award by The Chair Academy for making a significant contribution to academic and administrative leadership in his work.

Suki Grewal Faculty Emerita, Nursing

Emeritus_2016_SGrewal.jpgSuki Grewal taught in the Langara College School of Nursing from 2003 to 2015. She brought an intense focus on cultural safety, global health, research, and scholarship, and has positively influenced the School of Nursing’s curriculum. Grewal continues to be a tireless community volunteer and advocate. She has served as an advisory committee member for the BC Cancer Agency for the Oral Cancer Prevention Program among the South Asian Community; a Canadian consultant for the Royal Institute of Nursing in Punjab, India; and a member of the “We Can” committee focused on domestic violence. Her research into South Asian health issues has also been widely published in various health related journals.

Jane Heyman Faculty Emerita, Theatre Arts

Jane Heyman is a Jessie award-winning director who worked as a full-time member of the Theatre Arts faculty between 1985 and 2005. She served as the department’s first Associate Director from 1991 until her retirement, and was instrumental in building Studio 58 into a nationally renowned program. Heyman remains deeply connected to the department, as a member of the Theatre Arts Advisory Committee, and periodic director of student productions, including February 2016’s The Train Carr. After retirement, she created the Jane Heyman Fund for Creative Collaboration, and most recently co-chaired the Studio 58 Legacy Fund, which has raised over $130,000 since the fall of 2014. She also co- founded Vancouver’s Performing Arts Lodge (PAL), a unique social housing and theatre complex in Coal Harbour that provides a home for senior performing arts professionals.

Linda Holmes President Emerita


Linda Holmes was the founding President of Langara College. During the Langara Faculty Association strike in 1992, Holmes represented Langara in the negotiation with the Ministry of Advanced Education to transform the institution into a stand-alone College. Since that time, Langara has prospered and grown physically as a result of her leadership in the development and approval of the Master Plan for Facility Development. Holmes helped create a unique and valued identity for Langara College and ensured that Langara built a reputation for program quality and excellence. Prior to stepping into the presidency, she was a Nursing faculty member, Career Program Division Chair, and Dean of Administration and Student Services.

2015 Emeritus Award Recipients

Alister Browne Faculty Emeritus, Philosophy

Alister Browne was an instructor in the Philosophy Department from 1987 to 2005, serving two six-year terms as Department Chair. He has given eleven talks in the Langara Community Lecture Series, authored course materials still in use by the Philosophy Department, and articulated two courses (Biomedical Ethics & Critical Thinking and Business Ethics) that are requirements in the Langara School of Management and Langara School of Nursing. 

Browne’s contributions to the Philosophy and Bioethics communities are profound, with 54 peer-reviewed publications. From 1995-2003, while at UBC, he served as Director of UBC’s Division of Health Care Ethics, and subsequently as the Ethics Theme Director of the Medical School, then retired as a Clinical Professor in 2013. He has served on Ethics Committees of several area hospitals for over 30 years and as a Board Member of the BC Civil Liberties Association.

Cynthia Flood Faculty Emerita, English


Cynthia Flood began her academic career at Langara College as an instructor in the English Department in 1971, until retiring in 2001. She served as Coordinator of the Women’s Studies Department and as Assistant Chair in the English Department, as well as a Board Member on the Langara Faculty Association. Throughout her career she was an unfailingly supportive colleague, especially of junior faculty, demonstrating remarkable leadership within the College. 

While teaching, Flood established her writing career, publishing the story collections The Animals In Their Elements and My Father Took A Cake To France. Her novel Making A Stone of The Heart, plus more short fiction, The English Stories and the most recent Red Girl Rat Boy, have appeared since her retirement, garnering much praise and several literary awards. In addition to her literary and academic contributions, Flood’s work as a political activist in the women’s movement, unions, and anti-war organizations has been notable.

Abbe Nielsen Faculty Emerita, Business Administration

Abbe Nielsen was a popular accounting instructor in Langara’s Business Administration Department from 1989 until she retired in 2012. In 1997, she became the Department Chair, guiding the department through a period of significant growth and change by building consensus and recruiting exceptional new Langara instructors and staff. In retirement, she continues to serve the School of Management as an informal but active advisor to the current leadership team. Prior to Langara she was an instructor at both UBC and BCIT. 

Nielsen also has considerable experience working with and volunteering for not-for-profit and cooperative organizations She is a former President of the Board of Directors at REACH Community Health Centre and was appointed to the first Board of Directors of what is now known as the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. Currently, Nielsen is the Treasurer of the RainCity Housing and Support Society.

2014 Emeritus Award Recipients

Dr. JJ Denholm Principal Emeritus, Vancouver Community College, Vancouver Campus

James Johnstone Denholm was the Principal of Vancouver Community College’s Langara campus from 1972 to 1988. He provided strong consistent leadership at a time when the BC college system was in flux. Under his steady hand, Langara became a significant player in BC’s post-secondary education system. 

Dr. Denholm believes that the world will step aside for those who know where they are going. He is proud of the contribution he has made to the development of Langara’s exceptional learning environment and quality programming that continues to meet the needs of the community.

Patricia McKenzie Faculty Emerita, Early Childhood Education

Patricia McKenzie served as an instructor and department chair in the Early Childhood Education (ECE) department from 1979 to 1998. Patricia was instrumental in the cutting-edge design of a double intake system and the Early Childhood Special Education Program. Her work led to innovations that set the Langara ECE program apart from others, innovations that continue to attract students today. She was a passionate teacher and a mentor to many of the current instructors. As an active volunteer in the community, she developed programs and supported non-profit organizations that continue to enrich the lives of many. Patricia passed away peacefully in 2017, but will always be remembered for her dedication and commitment to early childhood education, and as a strong advocate for services for children and families in our community.

Norman Olenick Faculty Emeritus, Kinesiology

Norman Olenick is a Langara Kinesiology pioneer. He served as the department chair when it was still known as the Department of Physical Education and Recreation. During his tenure, he implemented the Recreation Leadership Diploma Program, the first two-year diploma in the field offered by a BC college; helped expand academic transfer courses and diplomas; and assisted in the development of Langara’s Athletics and Intramurals programs. 

In 2013, the Kinesiology Faculty Leadership Scholarship was established in Norm’s honour. A volunteer with several provincial and national organizations, he has received several awards for his contributions, including the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal in 2013.

2013 Emeritus Award Recipients

Antony Holland Artistic Director Emeritus, Theatre Arts at Studio 58

Antony Holland, one of Canada’s most acclaimed actors, was the founder of Langara’s nationally-recognized theatre arts program, Theatre Arts at Studio 58. Holland officially retired in 1985, but continued to support Studio 58 operations by acting, directing, and mentoring students until he passed on in 2015. In his exceptional career he earned three Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards (two for Best Performance as a Lead Actor and Lifetime Achievement distinction), the Sam Payne Award for Humanity, Integrity and Encouragement of New Talent, and the Union of BC Performers Award of Excellence. Holland was an inductee of the BC Entertainment Hall of Fame, and was named as a member of the Order of Canada in 2014.

Mike Holmwood Faculty Emeritus, Biology

Holmwood is a Langara pioneer. He recognized the potential of technology to positively shape pedagogy. His vision was instrumental in founding Langara’s Educational Technology Department and the delivery the College’s first online science course. While at Langara, he served for two terms as Chair of the Biology Department and as Divisional Chair for Math and Science. Holmwood is the recipient of the ACCC Teaching Excellence Award (1997-98) as well as the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education’s Canadian Community College Professor of the Year Award (1998).

Doug Soo Dean Emeritus, Continuing Studies

Doug Soo was Langara’s first Dean of Continuing Studies. During the 16 years he was at the helm of Continuing Studies, the division grew to become one of the largest and most successful providers of adult education in BC. A well-known educator and community builder, he served on the boards and committees of a variety of organizations, including the United Way of the Lower Mainland, the Canadian Cancer Society, Crisis Centre BC, and Vancity Credit Union. He was awarded the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Commemorative Medal for Service to the Community, and was named an Honorary Life Member by the Association for Community Education in BC in 1994. Soo passed away suddenly in 2014 doing what he loved, hiking on Grouse Mountain with friends.