During a special ceremony at Colleges Ontario’s Higher Education Summit on Nov. 28, the Hon. Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities, presented past Georgian College President Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. West-Moynes retired from Georgian in June after a decade of service and an exemplary 37-year career in postsecondary education.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is granted each year to those who have made a significant contribution – and enduring difference – to Ontario’s college system.
Dr. West-Moynes dedicated her career to increasing access and attainment rates, meeting the evolving needs of students, communities and employers, and driving economic growth through entrepreneurship and innovation.
Among many leadership roles, she was President and CEO of Georgian College and Mohawk College, Vice President – Academic and Chief Operating Officer at Durham College, and a strategic architect in the creation of Ontario Tech University.
“I’m honoured and humbled to have been nominated for this award and truly grateful to receive it,” said Dr. West-Moynes. “I had an outstanding career in postsecondary education, surrounded by exceptional teams who deeply cared about our students and the communities we served. I can’t think of a better job than improving the lives of others and supporting people to achieve their dreams.”
Dr. West-Moynes’ varied achievements include:
- Influential advocacy to enable colleges to offer standalone Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing degrees and ensure Ontario has a sustainable and highly qualified workforce to meet critical shortages and health-care demands
- Increasing degree capacity through the establishment of dynamic university partnerships and pathways, resulting in some students being able to graduate with both a diploma and a degree
- Leading considerable campus infrastructure expansion thanks to government, industry and generous donor support. This includes the Algoma Central Corporation Marine Emergency Duties Centre at Georgian’s campus in Owen Sound, the Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre at Georgian’s main campus in Barrie and establishing Ontario Tech’s downtown Oshawa Campus, which contributed significantly to the revitalization of the city’s core
- Initiating national discussions on advocacy, sustainability models and support for rural, remote and northern colleges and institutes
- Inspiring substantial growth in research, innovation and scholarship activity. Georgian was recognized as Canada’s first – and only – Ashoka U designated changemaker college and Mohawk nationally recognized for an applied research project to test Canada Health Infoway’s blueprint for a pan-Canadian electronic health records platform
In 2022, Dr. West-Moynes received Colleges and Institutes Canada’s Distinguished Service Award.