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St John’s 2023 Recap

Celebrating successes and preparing for what's ahead

December 22, 2023 — 

As we close out 2023 and prepare for 2024, we recap the year highlighting stories celebrating our students, fellows, staff, and community at St John’s. 

Welcome Week 

We started the school year with our St John’s College Student Council (SJCSA) at the Welcome Day event, where we met thousands of first-year students as they began their University of Manitoba journey.  In talking with students, both new and returning college members, you can feel the excitement as they return to campus and into hands-on learning again with their friends. 

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Following a buzzing welcome week, we continued to kick off the school year with our annual Jumpstart event with SJCSA at the Daily Bread Cafe. With our highest attendance yet, the excitement around the college was alive as students started the 2023/24 academic year.



New fellows join the college 

The St John’s college community is continually expanding, whether it’s with students, staff, or, in this case, our fellowship. At the end of September, we welcomed three new Fellows to the college: Sean Carleton, Annette Riziki, and Jorg Stetefeld.  Fellows like Sean, Annette, and Jorg look to join the college as a place to network with other academics, attend lectures, workshops, and other monthly events to further their knowledge and join a small community on the UM campus. 

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Melanie Dennis Unrau awarded banting postdoctoral fellowship

She started as a doctoral student in the Faculty of Arts. Dr. Melanie Dennis Unrau has been ranked first for a prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship.   Dr. Unrau graduated with a Ph.D. in English from the University of Manitoba in 2019. Her dissertation, “Tend the rusted steel like a shepherd”: Petropoetics of Oil Work in Canada, was awarded the University of Manitoba Distinguished Dissertation Award, the Canadian Studies Network Best Ph.D. dissertation in Canada Studies, and the International Council for Canadian Studies Brian Long Best Doctoral Thesis in Canadian Studies.   



Recognizing four honorary degree members including former Mayor Brian Bowman

On November 5, 2023, St John’s college celebrated four new Honorary Degree Recipients at our Convocation in the Chapel, recognizing these inspiring individuals for their contributions to both the College and the University, as well as the broader community. The 2022/23 Honorary Degree Recipients that we recognized included The Honourable Patricia Bovey, who received the Doctor of Canon Law (honoris causa), Brian Bowman, who also received the Doctor of Canon Law (honoris causa), Vincent Solomon, who received an Honorary Fellowship, and Brenda Cantelo, who received the Fellow’s Recognition Award.  



Celebrating academic excellence for our 2023 scholarship recipients

Our community is full of talented students ranging from the Faculty of Science, Arts, Engineering, Business, and Graduate Studies, to name a few. At our Annual Convocation, we were proud to recognize our 2022/23 graduates from the College and our scholarship and bursary recipients.  These scholarships and bursaries are given out yearly to college members who join St John’s College. Each year, we hand out $200,000 worth of scholarships to students given generously by our donors some of whom joined us on Sunday, November 5th, at our Annual Luncheon.  



Dharmil Patel finds his community and success in St John’s

As an Asper Student majoring in Finance, Dharmil Patel found his community after moving to Canada in 2019 from India to pursue his business dreams at the University of Manitoba. In coming to UM, Dharmil was excited to start this new adventure in business while doing his first semester online after travelling to Canada during the pandemic. After getting to Canada, Dharmil wasted no time getting involved at UM, where he found council work, extra-circular activities, and a co-op opportunity with the Asper School of Business.   

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International students find their home away from home 

From South Africa to Asia, our residence students come from all over the world as they call St John’s College home when studying as University of Manitoba students. Whether they are studying to become nurses, economists, engineers, or other professionals, the small size of St John’s Residence (at only 100 beds) fosters a tight-knit community that caters to residents making lasting friendships and residence becoming not simply a place to live but a home away from home.  



Students and staff make their stamp on history 

Dating back to 1866, when St John’s College first opened, Matriculation has been an annual event where new students, staff, and fellows are welcomed into the college. Held in our Chapel, Matriculation is an opportunity for new members to sign a historical book that includes all St John’s college members.  “It’s a fascinating event to look back on the history of the college and see how it’s evolved since 1866. Back then, this book was a time to track the numbers of the college, whereas today, it’s a historical piece that our community gets excited to put their names alongside those who started this college,” said Sherry Peters. 



Daily Bread Cafe bringing community together

The St John’s college food services operations, specifically the Daily Bread Café and Soup4U, are at the heart of the community at St John’s college. The college prides itself on bringing people together over a delicious meal and refreshments, especially for events throughout the college and UM campus. Behind the food services operations of the college are passionate staff like Stephanie Griffth, who you may have seen in the Daily Bread Café, Soup4U, or catering events throughout the college.

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