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Williams honoured for community service

Bruce Williams will be recognized by Vancouver Island University with its Outstanding Service Award at convocation ceremonies today (Jan. 30). - GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin
Bruce Williams will be recognized by Vancouver Island University with its Outstanding Service Award at convocation ceremonies today (Jan. 30).
— image credit: GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

A noted media personality will be recognized for his volunteer and fundraising efforts during Vancouver Island University’s winter graduation.

Bruce Williams, CTV Vancouver Island’s manager of community and client relations and host of I Love this Island, will receive the Outstanding Service Award at today’s (Jan. 30) convocation ceremony in recognition for his various charitable work. Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk will also be recognized with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the university.

Williams has worked with many of Nanaimo’s non-profit groups, including the United Way, Salvation Army and Nanaimo Child Development Centre, and has been associated with the university on a number of levels, serving on the Vancouver Island University Foundation board and helping with fundraising initiatives.

“It’s an honour. We do what we do out of respect for the organization and to enhance the results and it’s kind of humbling and I guess in a way gratifying to be recognized for it but more than anything, it just proves that what everybody’s doing, the same as I’m doing, is doing the right thing,” Williams said of his dedication to the university.

On top of his work in Nanaimo, Williams has also contributed to numerous other charitable causes across the Island, with the Tour de Rock fundraising cycling tour and the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island hospice Jeneece Place amongst them.

According to VIU president Ralph Nilson, Williams is the embodiment of outstanding community service.

“As a well-known and respected public figure, he has selflessly volunteered his time to support a wide range of community causes. His efforts continue to have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of people,” Nilson said in an e-mail.

Nilson also said that Williams has helped raise the profile of the university and helped raise much-needed money for scholarships and financial awards for students as well as new learning facilities.

This is not the first time Williams has won a community service award, as he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal in 2012. As well he has been awarded a Chair’s Award of Distinction from the United Way, a B.C. Toastmasters Leadership and Communication Award and Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce Sterling award for citizen of the year. He is happy to have another for the trophy case.

“I wouldn’t rank any of them above the other because I’ve always been very flattered and honoured that someone felt that what I had done was worthy of their recognition and I appreciate all of them,” he said. “I feel that VIU has such a huge impact on the community and on people.”

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