Three University of Guelph graduates will be honoured at this year’s Alumni Awards of Excellence gala.

The June 10 sold-out event will recognize veterinarian Harry Brightwell, former Nestlé Purina PetCare president Karen Kuwahara, and Lucky Iron Fish founder and CEO Gavin Armstrong.

The annual awards recognize alumni who demonstrate outstanding achievements and commitment to excellence.

ugaa_winners_2016This year’s event will take place at Rozanski Hall beginning at 6 p.m., and will include dinner, a silent auction and a speech by U of G vice-president (research) and Guelph alumnus Malcolm Campbell.

Brightwell, who graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1956, will receive the Alumnus of Honour award.

He was the co-founder and first charter president of the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, and founder of the Veterinary Purchasing Company, the first cooperative business venture among veterinary practices in Canada.

“I am very pleased and honoured to be one of the award winners, particularly when I know the records of many of my classmates who were great achievers,” said Brightwell.

A former Member of Parliament from 1984 to 1993, he was recently named the 2015 Stratford Beacon Herald Citizen of the Year.

At Guelph, he played varsity football and was on the wrestling team. “I also remember the stress of exams, but thankfully I no longer have nightmares about them.”

Kuwahara will receive the Alumni Volunteer Award. She has belonged to numerous boards and councils, including the United Way, Big Sisters and the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

She has served on University of Guelph committees and the Board of Governors, and was involved with two capital campaigns over the past 12 years.

The 1976 marketing graduate said her Guelph years gave her leadership skills. “U of G has a unique family and community spirit that I feel continues today.”

Armstrong, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2011 and a master’s in 2012, will receive the Alumni Medal of Achievement.

Now a PhD candidate, he continues to lead Lucky Iron Fish, which works to reduce iron deficiency in developing countries.

“My experience at Guelph is what got me engaged in global issues, with first-year seminars leading me to think differently,” he said.

“It is really humbling to be awarded with this medal. I hope this recognition highlights that students don’t need to follow the status quo when it comes to teaching and learning.”