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Wayne Davies [BEd/91, PB DipEd/07], 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award, Community Service

2015 Distinguished Alumni Award, Community Service

May 11, 2015 — 

Wayne Davies says he’s a “go big or go home” kind of guy when it comes to setting goals. But even he was floored when a guitar-building program he helped develop for junior high kids in Selkirk, Man., turned into a hugely successful fundraising mission for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) and local charities.

“I’ve got a bunch of kids [who came out of Selkirk] who think it’s normal to raise $101,000 for a museum,” says Davies, who is assistant superintendent of the Interlake School Division.

The “bunch of kids” he refers to is a group of former students at École Selkirk Junior High who joined Davies (then principal) and teachers Kris Hancock and Scott Sampson in a unique venture: the Building on Student Success (BOSS) Guitar Works program. Their grand fundraising tally reached $175,000 and provided support for dozens of local causes in addition to the CMHR.

Davies, a firm believer in developing young leaders, saw an opportunity to connect his students’ passion for building guitars into a way to give back. They took on the challenge with zeal—building 350 custom guitars during a three-year span, getting them autographed by musicians and other celebrities, and auctioning them off for charity.

In finding creative ways to turn philanthropy into experiences young people will remember for a lifetime, Davies is helping them see the importance of giving back for life.

On May 12, spend an evening with Davies [BEd/91, PB DipEd/07] and the other four recipients of the 2015 University of Manitoba Distinguished Alumni Awards:

  • Lifetime Achievement: Marion Meadmore, CM, [LLB/77]
  • Professional Achievement: Nick Logan, [BA/71, BComm(Hons)/73]
  • Service to the University of Manitoba: Juliette (Archie) Cooper, [BOT/79, MSc/82, PhD/87]
  • Young Alumni: Tito Daodu, [BSc(Med)/13, MD/13]

The Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize graduates who have achieved outstanding accomplishments in their professional and personal lives, and who have been an inspiration to other alumni, current students and the community, both close to home and around the globe.

Tickets for the Distinguished Alumni Awards Celebration of Excellence are $75 and available at:

Thank you to our generous sponsors: Industrial Alliance, Tempo Framing Systems, The Personal and the Winnipeg Free Press


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