By Elizabeth Murphy

Carleton University’s Donald Wiles, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Chemistry, has been recognized with the College and University Retiree Associations of Canada (CURAC) 2018 Tribute award. The honour is in recognition of his contributions in forming and leading the Carleton University Retirees Association (CURA). The award was presented at the CURAC annual conference in Halifax on May 24, 2018.

The tribute award “recognizes an exceptional contribution and/or achievement by a university or college retiree” to their local retiree association. Peter Watson, Professor Emeritus with the Department of Physics and current president of CURA, nominated Wiles for the honour in recognition of his colleague’s work to get the association off the ground.

“It was founded on Don’s initiative and he became the organization’s first president, serving in this role until 2012,” Watson said in his nomination of Wiles.

He drew attention to Wiles’ successful effort to establish a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Carleton and its retirees. In 2013, CURA and Carleton signed an MOU recognizing the association and the importance of maintaining connections with former employees.

“In summary, he has made an incredible contribution to learning and retirees throughout his life.” Watson noted.

In 2006, Wiles and a group of retirees founded CURA to provide retired faculty, librarians, managers and staff with a social and organizational connection to the university – as well as their former colleagues.

“We made a few critical decisions at our first meeting, one of which was to include all retired employees of Carleton, not just faculty and librarians,” said Wiles. “Many other universities don’t have that broad a scope.”

In addition to the decision to promote a broad membership, the early executive determined that the association would have open eligibility – but not mandatory membership, a membership contact list would be maintained and the organization would have frequent social gatherings.

Wiles joined Carleton in 1959. An expert in nuclear chemistry and radioactivity, he served as chair of the Chemistry Department for eight years. Carleton awarded Wiles an honorary degree “in recognition of distinguished contribution to scholarship and service to Carleton University” in 2011.

CURAC is a not-for-profit umbrella organization of post-secondary retiree associations from across Canada.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 in
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