On the evening of January 27, McGill Alumni Association Senior Executive Director Honora Shaughnessy, MLS’73, received the prestigious Eleanor Collier Award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District 1.
It was an honour to be in Boston for the ceremony – taking pictures, celebrating with Honora and now recording my experiences in some small way. Anyone who has ever met Honora realizes, from the first firm handshake and effusive smile she directs your way, that it is a much deserved recognition.
Against a backdrop of downtown lights and darting taxis, a series of advancement professionals, both seasoned and new to the field, gave moving speeches when they received their own awards. While each speech was unique, almost everyone addressed similar themes: the unwavering support of their families, the joy of working in the field, and the importance of higher education to our society and national goals.
Honora’s turn at the podium came toward the end of the ceremony. More than any other subject, she focused on the friendships that form through organizations like CASE and how those relationships make volunteering a pleasure. Like others, she thanked her children who put up with the job’s frequent trips and late nights. Honora exudes confidence (the red boots she wore testify to this fact), but her voice did tremble slightly when she spoke.
Over the course of the evening, I was struck by the humility and simple eloquence of each person’s remarks, how they captured the joy, satisfaction and even bewilderment that come with being recognized by your peers. As someone just starting my career in the advancement field, their stories were truly inspiring. The winners not only provide case studies on how to be professionally successful, but also how to find personal fulfillment in the process.
The Eleanor Collier Award goes to a professional “whose contributions to his/her organization and/or to the professions encompassed by the membership reflect honour on CASE, education, and those fields of professional experience.” She was nominated by Leisha Lecouvie, associate director of alumni services, who filmed the ceremony.
Please join us in congratulating Honora!
Pictures from the event are now online. Click here >>