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GRANDE PRAIRIE – The annual Grande Prairie Regional College President’s Awards Luncheon today recognized several members of the community for contributions to excellence in education. The event, hosted by the GPRC Alumni/Foundation, was established in 2004 and honours its donors and presents GPRC’s most prestigious awards.

The awards include the Distinguished Volunteer Award, The Steps to the Greater Alumni Award, The Alumni Award of Excellence, The Distinguished Alumni Award and the Board of Governors Award of Distinction. 

The Board of Governors Award of Distinction is the College’s highest tribute to individuals or groups within our community. This award has been established to honour individuals whose actions have made exceptional contributions to our community and to the advancement of higher education.

Pete Merlo

Pete Merlo is the 2019 Award of Distinction recipient. Merlo served eight years on the GPRC Board of Governors including three years as Chair of the Governance Committee and finished his term in June 2017 following three years as Board Chair.

Merlo has been dedicated to strengthening the College community and was instrumental in leading a partnership between his company, LSM and GPRC to develop and implement the sheet metal worker program at the College, which continues to be an important program for industries across the region. Merlo also helped in the advocacy of the College becoming degree-granting, a milestone that was achieved in 2018. 

Merlo has also been very active in the Grande Prairie community throughout the years. He served on the Board of Directors for Alberta Blue Cross representing Northern Alberta, Construction Committee Chair for the Centre 2000 project, past President of Grande Prairie & District Chamber or Commerce, past President and current member of the Swan City Rotary Club, and was a founding Board Member of The Community Foundation to name a few.

Currently, Merlo is an active member of the College’s VITAL Campaign Cabinet and continues to help our College community make strives to better serve our region in making post-secondary dreams come true.

Today’s event also inducted 20 new members to the GPRC President’s Council. The President’s Council consists of individuals who have completed service to GPRC on the Board of Governors or Alumni/Foundation Board of Directors, volunteered as Chair of a major fundraising event, made a planned gift to the College, or received a distinguished award at GPRC.  

More than 150 GPRC donors and supporters were present for the ceremonies, held today in Clarkson Hall at Evergreen Park.

Information provided by Grande Prairie Regional College.