A dedicated philanthropist and volunteer, Tannis Richardson is an enthusiastic champion of her community and its people. Her lifelong commitment to local and international charitable causes is why her name is so well loved in Winnipeg and why she is being awarded an honourary degree today.
Since graduating in 1948 from the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Home Economics (now the Faculty of Human Ecology), Mrs. Richardson has made a difference in countless lives through her dedication to arts, health and cultural organizations in Winnipeg and Canada.
Two years after graduating, Mrs. Richardson joined the Winnipeg Art Gallery as a volunteer member of the Women’s Committee. Over the years she has helped the WAG raise funds for numerous projects and in light of her exceptional service she became one of the first members of the Advisory Council of the Volunteer Associates of the WAG, a position normally reserved for past WAG presidents and board members.
Mrs. Richardson is also a long-time benefactor and leader of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation and in 1991 she was the first recipient of the Foundation’s Laureate of Excellence Award, which was establish to recognize the contributions of individuals in the community. In 1995, Mrs. Richardson, along with her husband George, acted as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Foundations for Health Campaign, an ambitious and successful project between the Health Sciences Centre Foundation and the Children’s Hospital that resulted in a new research centre. Today, Mrs. Richardson continues to support the foundation by being the Honorary Director of the Health Sciences Centre Foundation.
Mrs. Richardson is a Member of the Order of Canada and she has served on the boards of Rainbow Stage, the Manitoba Opera Association, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Association of Youth Orchestras.
She has supported and volunteered for a multitude of organizations such as the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, the Kidney Foundation of Canada, the United Way of Winnipeg, the Western Canadian Aviation Museum, the Manitoba Museum, and the Winnipeg Public Library Foundations. She is also on the Advisory Council of the Friends of Upper Fort Garry.
Mrs. Richardson is especially committed to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) of Canada, chairing the local fundraising committee and serving on the national Executive Committee and Board of Chancellors, as well as serving with JDRF International. In recognition of her dedication and tireless effort, she was honoured with the One Step Closer Award from the Juvenile Research Foundation International.
There are few communities, organizations or causes in Manitoba that have not benefited from Mrs. Richardson’s selfless generosity. Today, we welcome her back home to the University of Manitoba and honour her ability to envision a better world and to make it so.
Tannis M. Richardson