Roxanne Riddell has made a career of serving and strengthening the community.
And on Tuesday, her passion for community-building took centre stage as Riddell, who is interim director of community impact at United Way Elgin Middlesex, received an honorary diploma from Fanshawe College during the school’s fall graduation ceremonies.
Calling the honour both surprising and humbling, Riddell addressed new graduates with words of congratulations and challenge.
She urged graduates to make a personal commitment to their community.
“Engage with it. Broaden your vision. Use your voice, even if you’re scared speechless,” Riddell said.
“Make enriching the lives of others an integral part of enriching your own.”
Nominated by Fanshawe’s board of governors, honorary diploma recipients “must have a unique and outstanding impact at local, provincial, national or global levels,” Sandra Fieber, dean of Fanshawe’s School of Community Studies, said in her introduction.
Fieber noted Riddell has deep ties to the region, with extensive experience in fundraising and community development in the charitable and not-for-profit sector.
Prior to joining the United Way team in 2013, Riddell served as a Senior Development Officer for St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation, the Client Services Manager for Tim Horton Children’s Foundation, Regional Director of Katimavik BC/Yukon, and as Camping and Outdoor Centre Manager for YMCA-YWCA of Vancouver Island and YMCA Western Ontario.
She is actively involved in several committees including the Child & Youth Network (CYN London) and the Elgin-St Thomas Coalition to End Poverty; is a member of Central Council of the London & Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership Project; and served as the Project Manager of London For All – A Roadmap to End Poverty for the City of London.
Riddell is a graduate of Fanshawe College and has Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees from Lakehead University and University of British Columbia.