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800+ Yukon College employees celebrated in new display
WHITEHORSE, YT— Over 800 employees of Yukon College between 1988 and 2020 are being celebrated in a new display unveiled today at Yukon University’s Ayamdigut Campus.
The display was conceived and donated by President Emerita Dr. Karen Barnes and husband Dean MacKay, a faculty member from 2011 to 2016.
“It’s wonderful to stand before this and see the names of all the people who contributed to the success of Yukon College across 32 years,” said Dr. Barnes. “Having worked many years in post-secondary education in Yukon and Alberta, Dean and I know that each person recognized here had a part to play. Each one connected with a student. Each one left an imprint. We wanted to honour the legacies of each one and ensure their contributions are not forgotten.”
“This display is both a beautiful addition to Ayamdigut Campus and a tremendous recognition of three decades of heartfelt dedication by past and current members of the Yukon University community to the success of our students. Thank you, Karen and Dean, for this generous gift,” said Dr. Maggie Matear, interim president and vice chancellor.
The display is comprised of five metal plaques—three featuring 815 names, one with the Yukon College logo and one of commissioned work by Selkirk First Nation artist Eugene Alfred. The entire project was managed by Millwright instructor Logan Sherk with Duncan’s Ltd. producing the Eugene Alfred artwork.
The names listed are of permanent and term employees with at least 900 consecutive hours (24 weeks) of employment between July 1, 1988, and June 30, 2020. The names are presented in a randomized order to encourage visitors to peruse them all and connect with memories of colleagues and friends.
The plaques are located on the exterior wall of the T-Wing facing the main quad. While access to campus buildings remains restricted to students and employees under current COVID-19 safety measures, the public is welcome to visit the campus grounds and view the College Legacy display.
Dr. Karen Barnes served as president and vice chancellor from 2011 to 2020, leading the transition of Yukon College to Yukon University. Since retiring, Dr. Barnes has received a Distinguished Alumni award from the University of Alberta and was appointed to the board of Polar Knowledge Canada by the Government of Canada. She is chair of the expert panel on High-Throughput Networks for Rural and Remote Communities with the Canadian Council of Academies, a board member of the University of the Arctic, a selection committee member for the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholars, Mentors and Fellows, and a founding member of 100 Women Who Care - Whitehorse.
Dean MacKay has served as faculty at Lethbridge College and Yukon College with a focus in adult education and community campus administration. Since moving to Yukon in 2008, MacKay worked at the Yukon Mine Training Association before joining Yukon College as instructor/coordinator of the Whitehorse Correctional Centre campus from 2011 until his retirement in 2016. After retirement, MacKay continued to teach First Aid and English as a Second Language programs for several years.