Category Archives: Alumni

Ridleians of Distinction: Christopher Potter ’80

It’s Wednesday and we are celebrating our alumni! Today we are featuring actor, Christopher Potter ’80.

chris

As a child, Potter’s parents instilled in him, a love of academics, art and athletics. He was in his 20’s before he realized this. His professional acting career began seemingly overnight. He was ‘discovered’ in an amateur play and swept into the professional world of acting. He worked as a stockbroker in Europe and in Canada, while continuing to perform in amateur theatre productions. He caught the attention of Martha Henry, one of Canada’s leading actresses, who cast him in the Canadian production of Biloxi Blues in Toronto. Potter won rave reviews and within a month landed a leading role in the CBC television series Material World(1990). He made a name for himself in television starring in two long-running popular dramatic series, which at one point let to him appearing on screen in two different roles at the same time. He played David Carradine’s son and crime fighting partner in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993), and starred as a hard-hitting police sergeant for three years in USA Network’s Silk Stalkings (1991), for which he also served as an episode director. He is known for being an actor with a flair for edgy and unconventional roles. In 2001, he received the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival Award for best actor for his first feature film role in the drama Rockets’ Red Glare (2000). Currently, he plays Tim Fleming, on the hit Canadian drama Heartland.

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

Ridleians of Distinction: Jane Tregunno ’81

It’s Wednesday which means we are profiling Ridleians of Distinction. Today on the blog we are showcasing Ridley’s first female Olympian.

Jane

In 1981, Tregunno brought home Ridley’s first Canadian Girl’s Championship in a singles scull. She got her start with the Canadian national rowing team in 1978, when she won a bronze medal in the coxed eights at the 1978 Junior World Championships. She upgraded to gold the following year and was selected to compete at the 1980 Summer Olympics, but stayed home after Canada joined the boycott of those Games. In 1981 she placed fourth in the coxed eights event at the Senior World Championships. She switched to the coxed fours for the 1983 edition and finished fourth with her team before attending the 1984 Summer Olympics, where she won a silver medal alongside her teammates. She then captured gold and bronze medals in the event at the 1986 Commonwealth Games and World Championships respectively. This quintet, came in sixth at the 1987 World Championships, and then finished seventh in the coxed eights at the same tournament. Tregunno’s final major international tournament was the 1988 Summer Olympics, where her 1987 crew placed seventh in the coxed fours. Tregunno-Stamp is now an accountant in Guelph, Ontario.

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

Ridleians of Distinction: Sir John Bell ’71

It’s Wednesday and we are featuring Ridleians of Distinction on the blog! Today we are profiling Sir John Bell from the Class of 1971.
Sir John Bell Ridley College GraduateBell graduated from the University of Alberta in 1975, and then studied medicine on a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University. In 1982, he took up a position as Clinical Fellow in Immunology with Hugh McDevitt at Stanford University, California, USA, where he worked on histocompatibility antigens and autoimmune disease. In 1987 Bell returned to Oxford as a Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow, and joined the Institute of Molecular Medicine, founded by David Weatherall. In 1992 he succeeded Weatherall as the Nuffield Professor of Clinical Medicine and, in 2002, became the Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford. In 1994, Bell was one of the founders of the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford University. He is an Emeritus Fellow of Magdalen College, Oxford and a student of Christ Church College. Bell’s research has identified genes involved in susceptibility to diabetes mellitus type 1, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. His work has been important in elucidating the interactions on the surface of the T cell involved in immune activation. He has also worked on the biomedical applications of high-throughput genomic technologies, including structural genomics and ENU mutagenesis. He has been directly involved in applying genetics in a clinical setting and helped develop the 100,000 genome project in England. Bell was awarded an honorary D.Sc. by the University of Alberta in 2003. He was President of the Academy of Medical Sciences from 2006-2011. In 2008, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), and was knighted for services to medicine in the New Year Honours of that year. Since 2011 he has been one of two Life Sciences Champions for the UK, reporting to the Prime Minister.  He was made a Knight Grand Cross (GBE) for his services to medicine, medical research and the UK life science industry in the New Year Honours in 2015.

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

Ridleians of Distinction: Catherine McDonald ’89

It’s Wednesday and we are featuring Ridleians of Distinction on the blog! Today we are profiling Catherine McDonald from the class of 1989.

Ridley College graduate and Global Toronto reporter Catherine McDonald Catherine McDonald came to Global Toronto in November 2000 and since then has reported on many of the biggest news stories in the GTA. Specializing in crime reporting, she has covered numerous crime stories and helped the station win two national RTNDA awards for best continuing coverage of the Jonathan story, and continuing coverage of the disappearance of Alicia Ross. McDonald’s career highlights include flying in an F-16 with the US Air Force Thunderbirds during the 2001 CNE air show, getting exclusive access onto one of four migrant ships, which landed on Vancouver Island during the summer of 2000 and covering Karla Homolka’s release from prison in the summer of 2005. She was born and raised in Edmonton, but spent three years living in Ottawa in the late 70’s while her father chaired the McDonald Commission into the RCMP. It was there, she was first exposed to the glare of media on Parliament Hill. After attending McGill University in Montréal, she returned to Edmonton where she volunteered for Shaw cable and later attended the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s Radio and Television program. After a few years behind the scenes, she moved in front of the camera, spending nearly two years in Red Deer as a videographer for CTV Edmonton, before moving to CHEK TV, the Global station in Victoria. 18 months later, McDonald landed in Toronto.

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

Ridleians of Distinction: Thomas ‘Tawgs’ Salter ’94

It’s Wednesday which means we are celebrating our alumni! Today we are featuring Thomas ‘Tawgs’ Salter from the class of 1994. It’s no secret that we have some pretty talented musicians who currently attend Ridley and also who have gone on to do some amazing things in the music industry once they have left the Ridley gates – Salter is no exception! Read on to learn more about today’s Ridleian of Distinction:

‘Tawgs’ Salter is a Canadian musician, songwriter, producer and recording engineer. His Ridley College alumnus Thomas 'Tawgs' Salterextensive body of musical work includes a vast array of artists ranging from Josh Groban, Lights and Lenka to Chantal Kreviazuk, Fefe Dobson, Midway State and USS. Salter has also worked alongside Grammy-winning writer/producer Walter Afanasieff, Salter’s music, production and collaborations have been featured on numerous television shows, including Vampire DiariesGrey’s AnatomyAmerican Idol and The Simpsons – as well as films. Salter’s writing and production of the soaring pop ballad You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up), Josh Groban’s first single from his multi-platinum selling third studio album Awake, reached #9 on the Adult Contemporary Billboard chart. The song was sung by Lisa Simpson on the television show The Simpsons.

On December 15, 2009, Canadian singer-songwriter LIGHTS was acknowledged with two No.1 song awards by SOCAN, alongside writing partner Salter, who helped her pen her smash hits Drive My Soul and SaviourDrive My Soul reached the top spot on MuchMusic Countdown on January 8, 2009. In 2012, Salter produced Drive, the debut song of American actor and singer Cheyenne Jackson.

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

Ridleians of Distinction: Josie Ho ’90

Throughout the summer, we will be profiling Ridleians of Distinction every Wednesday! Many of you may wonder what happens to our Ridley graduates when they leave the Ridley gates. We can tell you that Ridley graduates are living all over the world and are doing amazing things. We are very proud of all our Old Ridleians!

Josie Ho '90 in the American film 'Contagion'
Josie Ho ’90 in the American film ‘Contagion’

Josie Ho ’90 is from Hong Kong. She has played many roles since entering show business as a pop singer in 1994, followed by her acting debut in Victory. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in both the Golden Horse Award and Hong Kong Film Award for Purple Storm, but won her first award at the 9th Golden Bauhinia Award for Forever and Ever. In 2000, she won Best Supporting Actress again for ”Naked Ambition” in the 23rd annual Hong Kong Film Awards. Ho has also acted in American films, “Contagion” and “Open Grave.”

To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

Ridleians of Distinction – Gene Allen ’70

Throughout the summer, we will be profiling Ridleians of Distinction every Wednesday! Many of you may wonder what happens to our Ridley graduates when they leave the Ridley gates. We can tell you that Ridley graduates are living all over the world and are doing amazing things. We are very proud of all our Old Ridleians!

Ridleians of Distinction was a project started as part of the 125th Anniversary of Ridley College, the Committee decided to research and source out 125 Ridleians of Distinction. Some are men who helped to shape the school, starting at its inception and moving all the way forward to the Ridley we know today. Some are men and women who have left the gates of Ridley to go on and achieve amazing and inspirational recognition in their chosen field. Many are both. To view a complete list of Ridleians of Distinction or to nominate a Ridleian of Distinction, please click here.

Photo courtesy of Ryerson University
Photo courtesy of Ryerson University

Gene Allen ’70 has had an extensive and varied career as a television news and documentary producer and as a newspaper editor and reporter before joining Ryerson’s Faculty of Journalism in 2001. He holds a B.A. from the University of Toronto, an M.A. from York University and a PhD from the University of Toronto, Between 1979 and 1991 he worked at The Globe and Mail, holding positions as foreign editor, Queen’s Park reporter, assistant city editor and copy editor. From 1997 to 2001, he was director of research and a senior producer of the CBC/Radio-Canada television series Canada: A People’s History which won a Gemini Award for Best Documentary Series. He edited both volumes of the best selling companion book to the series, Volume I of which was recognized by Canadian Booksellers Association as Non-fiction Book of the Year (2000). He also worked as a producer and writer for the award winning television documentary series Dawn of the Eye, assignment desk producer for CBC Radio’s Morningside, assignment editor for CBC national TV news, and writer on The National. He is the author of Making National News: A History of Canadian Press (2013) and co-editor of Communicating in Canada’s Past: Essays in Media History (2009). Allen was the founding director (2007-2010) of Ryerson University’s Master of Journalism program; he is currently a member of Ryerson’s Faculty of Graduate Studies and a faculty member in the York/Ryerson Joint Graduate Programme in Communication and Culture.