On March 17th Yukon College celebrated its president at a farewell gathering in honour of Sally Webber who has served the College for nearly 12 years. About 200 people representing every aspect of Yukon society attended the reception. Ed Schultz, the former Grand Chief of the Yukon Council of First Nations, was the master of ceremonies, introducing government officials, College dignitaries, community campus representatives, staff and students, who all wanted to pay tribute to her service.
A consistent theme through all the tributes was Webber’s strong commitment to strengthening the College's regional community partnerships to sustain and diversify programs and services to meet the needs of the Yukon people. Community leaders and staff praised her management style of empowering others to take risks with innovative approaches.
Sally Webber, wearing the Tlingit button blanket presented to her by Chancellor Sam Johnston, is holding a framed beaded moose hide done by Shirlee Frost a member of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.
First Nations leaders repeated their gratitude for Webber’s responsiveness to their communities’ needs. Schultz summed up their feelings saying: “It’s been so great to have someone like you, a learned person from another group of people in our Canadian family who has so willingly shared your contributions and championed my people, the First Nations people of this territory and we’ll forever be grateful.”
The Chancellor of Yukon College, Sam Johnston, presented Sally Webber with a traditional Tlingit button blanket to recognize her service to the College. The buttons were individually hand stitched by College staff and members of the College Board of Governors.
A number of gifts were presented to the outgoing president. College Chancellor Sam Johnston presented a traditional Tlingit button blanket, which is worn as a ceremonial cape. The buttons had been hand sewn on by staff, members of the board of governors and other admirers. Shirlee Frost, the daughter of Alice Frost for whom the College’s campus in Old Crow is named, presented Webber with a framed piece of moosehide with beadwork depicting the College logo, a loon, and territorial flowers. Webber also received an “antique” fishing rod to use on her longed-for fishing trips.
Webber came to the Yukon in 1994 from administrative posts in educational institutions in Ontario. She adapted quickly to the northern lifestyle and assumed a leadership role in community, national and international organizations. She was a founding member of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation Board, Past-Chair of the Board of Directors of the Yukon Arts Centre Corporation and a founding member of the Council of the University of the Arctic. She was also a member of the Steering Committee of the Circumpolar Universities Association, sat on the Rural and Remote Colleges Committee of the Association of Community Colleges of Canada, and was a member of Canada’s International Polar Year Steering Committee, representing northern Canada.
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