Joan Halmo, PhD (BA ‘77) and Dr. Robert Labbie (BSc ‘87) are the recipients of the 2015 Campion College Alumni of Distinction awards, which will be presented tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Regency Ballroom at the Hotel Saskatchewan.
The Alumni of Distinction Awards are presented to Campion alumni and former students who have distinguished themselves in their profession and their community, and have demonstrated the Jesuit values and mission of the College in their professional and personal actions.
Growing up in the Saskatchewan prairie town of Kuroki, Dr. Halmo developed a love of music as a young child through her participation in music at the church and in the community. After studies in London, England, and Ottawa, Dr. Halmo returned to Saskatchewan and enrolled at Campion College where she was encouraged to pursue her passion and love for the arts, a launching point that led her to graduate studies in Liturgical Music and Musicology. An active member in her current home community of Saskatoon, Dr. Halmo was instrumental in reclaiming and restoring the provincial heritage property, Gustin House. The former home of Lyell Gustin (1895-1988)—a musician and piano teacher whose love of the arts helped shape the performing arts culture in Saskatoon—is once again a centre for arts and culture. Along with arranging regular concert series and interdisciplinary arts events, the Gustin/Trounce Heritage Committee also awards scholarships annually to young pianists.
After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of Regina through Campion College, Dr. Labbie attended the University of Missouri-Saint Louis where he attained a Doctor of Optometry with honours. He returned to Saskatchewan and joined a practice in Weyburn. In the 1990s, Dr. Labbie began making trips to Central America as part of an effort to bring health care to isolated populations. Working with a team of healthcare professionals and other volunteers, Dr. Labbie aids in the delivery of eye care to patients coming from all over the area. From providing glasses that will allow patients to continue working to assisting those with cataracts and in need of eye surgery, the work of the teams brings much needed care to communities in need. Over the fifteen years that Dr. Labbie has volunteered his time and talents, it is estimated that the teams he has worked with have treated over 75,000 patients in impoverished communities in Central America.