Dr. Roman Petryshyn, the founder and first director of the Ukrainian Resource and Development Centre (URDC) at MacEwan University, has been made a Member of the Order of Canada by Governor General Mary Simon.

Dr. Petryshyn is a published author, educator and community leader who has been instrumental in developing numerous social and economic collaborations between organizations across Canada and Ukraine. At MacEwan University, he served as the first Drs. Peter and Doris Kule Chair in Ukrainian Community and International Development from 2004 to 2015 and was responsible for promoting Ukraine as an academic subject and advancing research that focuses on Ukrainian-Canadian issues.

“It’s both gratifying and humbling to know that people I have worked with over the years felt that I qualify to be a candidate for such an honour,’ said Dr. Petryshyn. “It also means that they continue to believe in the ideas of diversity, equity and community-university engagement that we pursued together.”

“The legacy Dr. Petryshyn has left for our current and future students is extraordinary in its impact, not just locally, but for its reach internationally,” said Dr. Annette Trimbee, MacEwan’s president and vice-chancellor.“ Dr. Petryshyn’s work has touched on a wide range of topics, including economic, agricultural, social, Ukrainian culture and more. To Dr. Petryshyn on this wonderful occasion, I offer a warm and hearty Вітаємо!”

Under Dr. Petryshyn’s guidance, URDC became a nationally – and internationally – recognized centre of expertise in Ukrainian-Canadian relations, facilitating grants, creating networking and collaboration, and research opportunities. In the early 1990s, when Ukraine gained its independence, URDC engaged the MacEwan community in assisting post-secondary institutions in Ukraine, building MacEwan’s reputation as a centre for international project development. Since 1992, URDC has facilitated Canadian/Ukrainian collaborations in diverse areas, including agriculture, nursing and business education, language studies and inclusive education.

“Dr. Petryshyn is one of the most deserving people in the Ukrainian Canadian community,” said Larisa Hayduk, the current director of URDC. “He is a visionary and community builder. Dr. Petryshyn has devoted his life to promoting and advancing the interests of people both here and in Ukraine. He has helped improve the lives of so many and laid the foundation for that work to continue well into the future. An Order of Canada is absolutely appropriate and welcome as an acknowledgement of his outstanding life achievements.”

Dr. Petryshyn began his work at MacEwan in 1987 and has been enjoying retirement since 2015.

The newest member of the Order of Canada has a message for the MacEwan community as it marks its 50th year.

“The core values built into the structures of MacEwan University make it an open and flexible system that allows innovators to contribute to the university’s improvement and pursuit of new knowledge,” said Dr. Petryshyn. “However, it does require taking some calculated risks, persistence, and considerable hard work to realize your passion.”

Dr. Petryshyn received the MacEwan Leadership Award in 2002, an Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005 and the MacEwan Medallion in 2016.

More than 7,500 individuals have been appointed to the Order of Canada since its inception in 1967.

Today’s Order of Canada announcement is The Right Honourable Mary Simon’s first during her tenure as Governor General.


Visionary Collaborations: The Life and Work of Dr. Roman Petryshyn
Watch a short documentary that celebrates Dr. Petryshyn's outstanding work advancing multiculturalism and ethocultural inclusion in Canada.
Dr. Roman Petryshyn Watch the video

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