Alumni Award recipients embody Royal Roads' 75-year legacy

September 11, 2015

Victoria – As part of its 75 Years of Changing Lives celebrations, Royal Roads presented its 2015 Alumni Awards to an alumnus with a decorated military career and an alumna who is an ally of the United Nations Association of Canada (UNA-Canada).

Major General (Retired) Herb Pitts, who has been an outstanding leader in his military career and in his volunteer work for organizations like Scouts Canada and the Royal Canadian Legion, received the Royal Roads Alumni Leadership Award. The leadership award is open to Royal Roads Military College ex-cadets (1940-1995) and university alumni (1995-2015).

The Royal Roads Alumni Excellence Award was presented to Vivian Giang. A communications and grants strategist at the University of Alberta, Giang also works with the UNA-Canada to enhance intercultural understanding and to promote and build leadership capacity among vulnerable Alberta youth. The alumni excellence award is open to university alumni who bring meaningful and positive change to their workplace, community or the world.

“Our alumni continue to demonstrate the life-changing experience that a Royal Roads education provides and we feel privileged to be part of an educational journey that helps them achieve their personal and professional goals,” says Royal Roads University president and vice-chancellor Allan Cahoon. He says the university asks its alumni to use what they have learned to lead positive change. “It’s clear that Herb Pitts and Vivian Giang have taken that challenge and made an impact in themselves, their workplaces and their communities. They embody our 75-year legacy of learning and leadership and we celebrate their accomplishments.”

Herb Pitts began his military career by entering Royal Roads in 1948, then called the Canadian Services College. His leadership was put to the test in several critical conflicts in the Korean War and the 1956 Suez Crisis. He rose to the rank of major-general in his last role as chief of army operations. Throughout his post-military career Pitts devoted much of his time and leadership skills volunteering with various organizations including Scouts Canada, where he volunteered as president as well as international and national commissioner. Pitts received the organization’s highest award – the Silver Wolf Award – for his efforts. Read more about Herb Pitts on the Changing Lives Story Project website.

In just a few short years since graduating with a Master of Arts in Professional Communication degree in 2012, Vivian Giang has established an impressive track record of achievement. In addition to her communications role at the University of Alberta, she brings positive change to communities across the province as Alberta Project officer for UNA-Canada. Her work in the UNA-Canada Multimedia and Multiculturalism Programme saw her actively engaging with youth and collaborating with First Nations communities, educational institutions, ethno-cultural communities and the media, creating media free of stereotypes, racism and other forms of discrimination. Through this year’s FIFA Football for Hope/Sports-in-a-Box Programme, Giang promotes and builds leadership capacity for vulnerable Alberta youth – helping them realize their potential to lead change.