A nationally recognized executive, a young litigator with a strong public voice, an Indigenous treaty expert, and a warrior for victims of domestic violence are this year’s recipients of the Queen’s Law alumni awards.
Chosen by the Dean’s Council Awards Committee from a strong list of nominees put forward by fellow grads, the winners are:
Betty DelBianco, Law’84
H.R.S. Ryan Law Alumni Award of Distinction (for overall distinction in the legal profession)
A dedicated and active Dean’s Council member for a decade (2009-2019), she demonstrated tremendous fundraising leadership while helping to shape the school’s future with her strategic guidance. As Chief Legal and Administrative Officer with Celestica Inc., a multinational electronics manufacturing services company based in Toronto, she leads the legal, corporate governance, communications, compliance and sustainability functions, as well as its human resources organization. She sits on the Board of Economical Insurance and is a past president of the Association of Canadian General Counsel. Her national recognition includes receiving a Canadian General Counsel Award for Litigation Management and being named to Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Hall of Fame by the Women’s Executive Network.
Asher Honickman, Law’10
Dan Soberman Outstanding Young Alumni Award (for early-career success)
Already a partner with Toronto firm Matthews Abogado LLP, he has built a broad litigation practice and has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada and at all Ontario court levels, as well as administrative tribunals. He co-founded the national Runnymede Society to foster debates among law students with different perspectives on pressing legal issues and he is the founder and CEO of Advocates for the Rule of Law, a legal think tank dedicated to promoting the rule of law in Canada. Through this work and his writing of papers and articles covering a wide range of legal topics specially focused on constitutional law, he has become a respected public voice on legal issues.
Loretta Ross, Law’89
Justice Thomas Cromwell Distinguished Public Service Award (for sustained and outstanding public service)
Appointed Commissioner for the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba in 2017, one of her priorities is to challenge people’s understanding of Treaties and how they can be a means of reconciliation in transforming the relationship between First Nations and non-First Nation people. She is a member of her home province’s Hollow Water First Nation who previously practised law for 28 years, counseling numerous First Nations people, governments and organizations, notably the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Assembly of First Nations on child and family matters, residential school survivor claims, specific land claims, Treaty land entitlement, trusts, and hydro development.
Pamela Cross, Law’93
J.A. (Alec) Corry Distinguished Alumni Award (for excelling in a career outside the traditional practice of law)
A women’s equality advocate and legal expert on domestic violence, she is Legal Director of Luke’s Place, an Oshawa-based service for women and children leaving abusive relationships who are involved with family courts. She has developed many firsts for the non-profit organization, including its Pro Bono Summary Advice Clinic and Virtual Legal Clinic. She is an elected member of the Gender Equality Network Canada, comprised of over 150 female leaders, and is a recipient of the Ontario Attorney General’s Victim Services Award of Distinction. She heads “Not Okay,” a Status of Women Canada project in partnership with Toronto’s Barbra Schlifer Clinic, where she also provides independent legal advice to sexual assault survivors.
“This year’s recipients are trailblazers,” says David Sharpe, Law’95, Chair of the Dean’s Council and its awards committee. “They have distinguished themselves as leaders, making valuable contributions within the private and public sectors in their communities, their provinces and across Canada.”
Watch for articles about this year’s award winners over the coming weeks.