Terri-Jane Yuzda


Freelance Columnist

Grads Who Head West
Remain Faithful to Queen’s

For the better part of a year, the president and chief operating officer of Paramount Energy Trust has been working night and day on behalf of her corporate unitholders.

Since last summer, when the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board declared that certain of Paramount's gas-producing wells posed a threat to northeastern Alberta bitumen reserves, Sue Riddell Rose, P.Geol., has made every effort to convince the board otherwise.

Naturally, the geoscientific training she received at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont., (geological engineering, class of '86) has been an invaluable resource, as Ms. Riddell Rose and Paramount have developed their case.

And while many APEGGA members have been following Ms. Riddell Rose's high-profile EUB challenge, few realize the breadth of her commitment to the support of geological studies at her alma mater.

Queen's Campus
The connection remains strong for Queen's University alumni in Alberta. Above is an aerial shot of the picturesque Kingston, Ont. campus.

The Queen’s Connection
Her husband, Mike Rose, P. Geol., is another Queen's alumnus (class of '79). Not surprisingly, he shares her enthusiasm 100 per cent.

The proof is the new Geological Field Studies Program, soon to be introduced to the Kingston campus. Funding for the program was driven by the Roses, who had been casting around for a way to acknowledge the influence of a campus that continues to mean a great deal to them.

"It was something we felt we could do for Queen's. A bit of a help, anyway," Ms. Riddell Rose says with a smile.

Oddly enough, the Roses didn't meet on campus. They only got to know each other while both worked for Shell Canada's Calgary operation.

And their support for Queen's didn't take concrete shape until they became involved with a western fundraising drive a little more than four years ago.

The couple had remained in touch with members of their respective graduating classes. Incredibly, more than 10,000 Queen's grads live and work in this province.

The thought of giving something back to the Kingston campus appealed to their sense of community responsibility.

"The Field Studies Program was something both Mike and I wanted to see implemented," says Ms. Riddell Rose. "We felt this was a huge opportunity to help move the Queen's geology department to a different dimension."

The couple's idea was to plant a seed and enable it to grow into something special for Queen's students of the future. With Sue and Mike carrying the ball, funding for the new program began rolling in a couple of years ago. And the program's first field-studies trip is expected to set out sometime this spring.

Further Support
But this effort isn't the only manifestation of the couple's support. Mike was instrumental in establishing the Berkley Scholarship program and since last year, the manager of Queen's Western Regional Office has been enjoying the rent-free use of first-class space at Paramount Energy Trust's Calgary headquarters, courtesy of Ms. Riddell Rose. For two years prior to that the western office was established at the offices of Paramount Resources Ltd. in Banker’s Hall.

That's right. Queen's has so many alumni in the West – many of whom emerged from campus engineering and geoscience programs – that their social, charitable and business interests and activities keep a full-time office manager busy.

The manager’s duties involve fundraising, grad placement and donor relations, of course. But he's also an important liaison for about 500 Calgary-area students currently enrolled at Queen's.

Like the outstanding post-secondary engineering and geoscience programs in this province, Queen's seems to generate remarkable loyalties.

Case in point: APEGGA members Mike Chernoff, P.Eng., and Bruce Chernoff, P.Eng., Western-based Queen's grads, spearheaded funding efforts for Chernoff Hall, the $57-million, state-of-the-art facility which now houses the Department of Chemistry at Kingston.

Mike Chernoff, who spent much of his working career in the Alberta oilpatch, also established the $2.6-million Chernoff Family Awards to assist qualified students who come to Queen’s – as he did – from outside Central Canada.

A complete listing of Queen's grads on the APEGGA rolls would take a week to compile. And many, like Mike Rose and Sue Riddell Rose, have dug into their pockets to demonstrate their support.

"It's related to the exceptional experiences we had at Queen's," Ms. Riddell Rose says. "You find you want exceptional young people to share the same type of experience."

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