Jubilee Ambassadors

The Jubilee Ambassador initiative aims to meaningfully engage notable members of our SMUS alumni family by encouraging their involvement in a myriad of opportunities to connect back to the school throughout the 50th Jubilee year of celebrations.

Each Ambassador’s SMUS journey began with an ambition and interpretation of our Vision: To Learn, to Lead, to Serve. We wish to share where this journey has now taken them through creative storytelling, mentorship opportunities with students and fellow alumni, speaking engagements and events, as well as other inspiring ways to connect to our students and the broader SMUS community.

It is through sharing these stories, and inviting our Jubilee Ambassadors to express their pride and enthusiasm for the school that we will be able to paint a picture of where our school has come from, where we are now, and where we aim to be for the next 50 years.

Meet Our Jubilee Ambassadors

  • Xavier Abrioux ‘76
  • Marianne Anderson ‘80
  • Tanya Boteju ‘96
  • Brianne Budlovsky ‘04
  • Kevin Cook
  • Tony Cordle
  • Bhupinder Dulku ‘09
  • Anna Forbes
  • Douglas Freeman ‘88
  • Peter Gardiner
  • Maureen Gordon ‘88
  • Dorothy Hawes
  • John Herpers ‘64
  • Shannon Hill ‘85
  • Paris Lowe ‘14
  • Ann Makosinski ‘15
  • Hugh McGillivray ‘64
  • Jelena Mrdjenovich ‘00
  • Michael Nation ‘70
  • Gareth Rees '85
  • Alex Richie ‘81
  • Tom Rigos ‘61
  • Chris Spicer ‘70
  • Cliff Sun ‘72
  • Michael Symons ‘63
  • Andrew Timmis ‘65
  • Jane Timmis
  • Lindy Van Alstine
  • Timothy Williams ‘83
  • Rob Wilson
  • Dawit Workie ‘13
  • Tom Zheng ‘10

Jubilee Ambassador Bios

Xavier Abrioux ‘76

Xavier attended SMUS from 1972 to 1978, where he then went on to study at UVic and McGill, receiving a BA with a major in History. After travelling for a year, he came back to SMUS and received a position in Boarding, with an unofficial teaching position in French at the Junior School. Fast-forward a few years, and Xavier successfully completed his teaching diploma- starting his teaching career at Stanstead College. In 2004 a posting for the Middle School Director at SMUS appeared and Xavier secured it beginning a new chapter of his SMUS journey, eventually retiring in 2018.

Marianne Anderson ‘80

Marianne attended SMUS from 1978 to 1980 as one of the first girls as the School introduced coeducation. Marianne was the first Head Girl of SMUS and has remained connected to the School as an alumnus, a donor and advocate, and a leader, having served on the Board of Governors from 2000-2006.

Tanya Boteju ‘96

Tanya attended SMUS from 1991-1996. While at SMUS Tanya was on the prefect council from 1995-1996. Tanya went on to teach English at York House School in Vancouver. She has been at York House for 18 year, and simultaneously written two books. In May 2019 Kings, Queens and In-betweens, Tanya’s first book, was released and was named a Top Ten Indie Next Pick by the American Booksellers Association. Her second book, Bruised, was released in March 2021 and has been selected as a Gold Standard book by the Junior Library Guild.

Brianne Budlovsky ‘04

Brianne attended SMUS from 1997 to 2004. While at SMUS she received the Parents’ Auxiliary Drama Award, and the Headmasters Award. She has had a successful career as an ER and cosmetic doctor in Victoria and Vancouver and was named in the COVID-19 Hero top ten list.

Kevin Cook

Throughout the last three decades, Kevin Cook has been a mathematics and chemistry teacher, Deputy Director of the Senior School, houseparent, Director of Residence, Director of Community Service and Director of Community Engagement and Global Expeditions – a variety of roles, spanning 29 years. He followed his wife, Kathleen, in the role of Director of Residence and his family moved into boarding. Kevin was responsible for Harvey House and his wife, Kathleen, was with Timmis House. Over his last years at SMUS, Kevin helped lay many of the foundations for the current experiential education programs at SMUS. Even after “retiring” at the end of the 2019-20 school year, Kevin did not, in fact, leave SMUS. He stayed on as part of the Restart Team to assist with organizing the return to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tony Cordle

Tony’s first contact with SMUS was in 1985. Tony was a former Barbadian first-class cricketer who played in England for Glamorgan and at that time SMUS was the only school on Vancouver Island that played. He became part of the school’s physical education program. His work spanned running the tuck shop and managing the Campus Shop, working with the grounds team, delivering the post to all three campuses, along with ongoing cricket, soccer, rugby and basketball coaching. Singing has always been important to Tony, and he got involved in singing with the kids in chapel under the direction of music teacher Mary Humphries. His voice is stunning, and he has sung at many SMUS event, alumni’s weddings, and even performed a marriage for one. He also sings in a band with four SMUS alumni parents, which he says makes is feel very special. The bonds formed at school have resulted in strong friendships over the years.

Bhupinder Dulku ‘09

Bhupinder attended SMUS from 2002 to 2009. He has served as both a SMUS Alumni Association Board Trustee and a member of the Advancement Committee of the Board of Governors. Bhupinder is currently a Senior Analyst, Investment Strategy & Risk, at BCI in Victoria, British Columbia and is a valued guest speaker at our annual Career Day.

Anna Forbes

Anna brought to her twenty-eight-year experience at the School a unique perspective as the parent of a boarder, parent of day students, teacher, administrator, senior house parent and head of department. Anna joined the School in 1987 as Art Teacher in the Junior School and went on to teach Art and English in both Junior and Senior Schools. She served as Head of the Art Department in the Senior School, Assistant Director of the Junior School for two years and was the Senior House Parent of Symons House for eight years. While teaching, she also pursued post-graduate work in Art History, giving many workshops both in Canada and the US on work done to make art history experiential. She was awarded the honour of BC Art Teacher of the year by the BC Council of Art Teachers. In addition to this illustrious career, Anna has three highly successful children who are alumni of the School.

Douglas Freeman ‘88

Douglas attended SMUS from 1981 to 1988. He is a newly elected member of the SMUS Board of Governors and remains a valued member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory committee as well as the Strategic Planning Committee. A recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2013, Douglas is an accomplished entrepreneur and has a storied career in the field of Economics. We value his commitment to the mentorship of our current SMUS students.

Peter Gardiner

Peter started his 51-year career at University School in 1968 and remained on as a teacher at the newly formed St. Michaels University School in 1971. Peter is credited for his leadership in the biology program on campus and off – he was a Lead Teacher for the AP Biology program for Canada and shared his expertise in AP exam standards setting and marking for the College Board. Peter and his wife served as House parents of Harvey House from 1970-76 and credit this time with forming some of his strongest relationships within the school community. After 39 years of teaching, Peter did not retire from SMUS. Having also held roles as the Deputy Headmaster, principal of the Senior School and coach for sports ranging from fencing and scuba diving to tennis and badminton, he was asked to join the Advancement and Alumni Relations team in 2007. His new role was one rooted in encouraging giving, particularly to scholarships and ensuring that alumni felt connected to their school.

Maureen Gordon ‘88

Maureen attended SMUS from 1984-1988. Maureen is business professional and award-winning writer. Her feature writing and photography have won awards, and been published in many serials, including The Globe and Mail, the International Journal of Eco forestry, British Columbia magazine and the Malahat Review. Featured in our current School Ties feature - ‘Coastal Clean-Up’.

Dorothy Hawes

Over Dorothy’s 27-year relationship and career with SMUS, both as a teacher and as a parent, she embraced every opportunity to “hone her craft, well-supported by the school with students who are motivated and want to learn.” Dorothy began teaching German and quickly found her home in the English Department. Twice recipient of the professional development award, Dorothy was engaged in the evolution of the school. She was instrumental in the growth of the Service Council and the cultivation of a culture of volunteering in the local and global community with service days, projects and trips. She regularly contributed to chapel with her music and also rekindled interest and participation in the Recitation Evenings. For many years, Dorothy worked with students to produce the grad fashion show fundraiser which was also supported by the Fine Arts department. She also initiated and supported Teens Growing in Faith (TGIF).

John Herpers ‘64

John attended University School from 1960 to 1964. He was an American Friends Board member from 2005 to 2018. During this his time serving on the board he was the Chair of American Friends from 2016-2019. He created the Nativity Scholarship in 2007 to help students attend SMUS from the United States. John has made it a point to connect with students and enjoys sliding into the classroom setting when he is able to visit campus.

Shannon Hill ‘85

Shannon attended SMUS from 1982 to 1985. She has remained connected to the School and both an alumnus and a parent of her three daughters, Lainey ’16, Julia ’18 and Claire ’21. Shannon is currently serving as a member of the SMUS Board of Governors and sits on their Facilities and Governance Committees. After a career in Law, Shannon has transitioned into the field of medicine as a Physician and has set up her own practice in Victoria, British Columbia.

Paris Lowe ‘14

Paris attended SMUS from 2010 to 2014. She was a member of the DEI Advisory Committee, Recipient of the Nativity Named Endowment Award, Recipient of the Robert W. Wilson Named Endowment Award.

Ann Makosinski ‘15

Ann attended SMUS from 2006-2015, where she invented many things, including her best-known invention, the thermoelectric flashlight in 2013. Ann has been named onto Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list, Times Magazine's 30 Under 30 list, Entrepreneur Magazine's "Young Millionaires" list, and Glamour Magazine's College Women of the Year list. She has also received the same award as Barak Obama, the Sustainable Entrepreneurship Award of Excellence. To date, she has given 5 TEDx Talks, including at TEDx Teen, which has over 3 million views.

Hugh McGillivray ‘64

Hugh attended University School from 1960 to 1964. He has been passionate about philanthropy and supporting deserving students so they may have access to a SMUS education and has been a vocal advocate to the Endowment Program at SMUS. He has been on the Vivat Foundation Board since 2017. Before retiring, Hugh was the Director and Vice President of CIBC Wood Gundy.

Jelena Mrdjenovich ‘00

Jelena attended SMUS from 1996-2000. She was a World Champion boxer, 2020 Keynote for Careers Day (cancelled due to COVID) and has also been a speaker at previous Careers Day. Jelena is an entrepreneur and owns and operates a successful boxing studio based in Edmonton.

Michael Nation ‘70

Michael attended St. Michael’s School from 1960 to 1967. Michael has long standing family ties to the school as his father John Nation 28-33, Philip 25-30, and brother, Peter 57-64, attended SMUS. Michaels father served on the Board of Governors as Chair and has been called the “Father of Amalgamation”. Michael has worked for the Provincial Government in Elections and now donates his time to the archives at SMUS, bringing so many unearthed stories from our School’s history to the surface to share with our SMUS community.

Gareth Rees '85

Gareth attended SMUS from 1980 to 1985. After graduation, he took a gap year and studied at Harrow School in the UK, returned to earn his undergrad at UVic, and then finished his studies at Oxford University with a Masters' in Modern History. He has been an active volunteer as a SMUS alumnus, serving as a former Chair of the SMUSAA and a member of the Board of Governors, as well as returning to speak to students during Career Day and offering work experience for those interested in a career in sport. Gareth’s career as a professional rugby player and a member of Canada’s national team has taken him all over the world the past three decades and he has been recognized as a member of the Canada Sports Hall of Fame as well as the World Rugby Hall of Fame. Gareth is currently working as a Director at Rugby Canada and a commentator with World Rugby. He is a feature speaker for the Canada Sports Hall ‘Beyond The Win’ virtual presentation program which connects Hall of Famers with students to inspire positive community action.

Alex Richie ‘81

Alex attended SMUS from 1979 to 1981 as a BCTV Scholar and one of the earliest girls to attend after coeducation began. Alex has served on the SMUS Board of Governors in a myriad of roles as a member of the Advancement Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and currently as an Honorary Advisory Governor.

Tom Rigos ‘61

Tom attended University School from 1956 to 1961. He was an American Friends Board member from 2013-2018. He was an Alumni Association Executive from 1997-1998. He has been serving on the Governance Committee since 2014 and is an Honorary Advisory Governor. He served on the Nominations Committee from 2014 to 2020 and the Board of Governors from 1999 to 2009.

Chris Spicer ‘70

Chris attended St. Michael’s School from 1959 to 1964 and University School from 1964 to 1970. He has remained connected with the School in a myriad of role; as an alumnus, a donor and advocate, a parent (Tye ’98, Michael ’01 and David ’03), and former Director of Development, a department that Chris was instrumental in building and laying the foundation for at SMUS. Chris continues to advocate for alumni engagement with, and support for, the School and is a center -point for so many members of our SMUS community.

Cliff Sun ‘72

Cliff was one of the first students to attend SMUS after amalgamation. He graduated from SMUS in 1972 and was named a Honourary Advisory Council member in 1996. Cliff is currently the Executive Director of Kinox Enterprises, a global manufacturing company based in Hong Kong.

Michael Symons ‘63

Michael attended St. Michael’s School from 1952 to 1959 and then University School from 1959 to 1963. His grandfather, Kyrle C. Symons, was the founder of St. Michaels School, and created the lasting tradition of Ice Cream Day. Each year, since 1931, Ice Cream Day has been held, and has in recent memory, always been hosted by Michael, as tribute to his family legacy. Michael worked for the Provincial Civil Service for over 36 years and retired in 2002. He then when on to volunteer with the 89 Pacific RCACS. He was asked to be the Wing Chair for Vancouver Island in 2007. His son Kyrle graduated from SMUS in 2007.

Andrew Timmis ‘65

Andrew attended University School from 1955 to 1965. He was an Alumni Association Executive from 2007 to 2009. His father, J.J Timmis, was the Headmaster at University School from 1948 to 1970. His mother Mary worked extremely closely with the architect in designing Brown Hall. To this day he has many nieces and nephews in attendance at SMUS as well as more alumnus in the family. He is the owner Timmis Motor Company, which is specifically known for creating the Timmis-Ford V8.

Jane Timmis

Jane has been a member of the SMUS community since she was a little girl. Her father, J.J Timmis, was the Headmaster at University School from 1948 to 1970 and her mother Mary worked extremely closely with the architect in designing Brown Hall. Her brothers attended University School, as well as her partner, Hugh McGillivray. Throughout her adult life Jane has stayed in constant contact with the School, attending countless events and Alumni Weekends. Jane spent over 20 years in the medical sales field- specifically focusing on ultrasound and diagnostic imaging. Her passion is expanding the role of ultrasound as a key standard of care.

Lindy Van Alstine

Lindy’s relationship and 26-year career at SMUS began in 1990 when she started as a house parent. She started teaching in September 1995 and was hired full-time at the Middle School in 1996. To say that the students were at the center of everything Lindy was involved in at the School is an understatement and she, herself, was at the center of her SMUS family of colleagues. Comradery, positive spirit, a passion for learning, and joyful students were only a few of Lindy’s many contributions during her time at the School.

Timothy Williams ‘83

Timothy attended SMUS from 1978 to 1983. He was the first recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award, Multi-Award-winning composer and orchestrator for film, television, video games, live spectacle and shows, and theater.

Rob Wilson

Rob has been a member of the SMUS community since long before University School and St. Michael’s School became one. He began at University School in 1958 as a teacher, coach and houseparent at Harvey House. His storied career and relationship with our school spans over 60 years, and includes Acting Head of School, Counsellor, Teacher and Director of Admissions and so many more roles. Upon his retirement in 1999, Rob dedicated his spare time to the Archives department at SMUS, which has been named in his honour. There is also a Named Scholar fund that has been created in his honour by some of his previous students for current students at SMUS.

Dawit Workie ‘13

Dawit attended SMUS from 2008-2013, where he then went on to graduate from Dartmouth College in 2017. After spending a few years with Century Equity Partners, Dawit now works for Battery Ventures in Boston as an associate who focuses on growth-equity, among other things in the enterprise-software sector. He was an avid athlete, notably playing on his college rugby team as a flyhalf.

Tom Zheng ‘10

Thomas attended SMUS from 2008-2010. He later graduated from of King’s College London (LL.B.), and is now residing in Ontario. He recently passed the Bar and Solicitor exams and is now a Lawyer. He is a qualified solicitor in England and Wales and is a Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England & Wales. Tom was a former member of SMUSAA Board from 2015-2016.