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Rotarians bestow Paul Harris Fellow on Huntington president

Kevin McCormick praised for his volunteer work, humanitarian efforts

He's well known as an academic and committed volunteer, but did you know Kevin McCormick is a Batman super-fan?

​In speaking at a June 22 luncheon, Sudbury's former MPP made that revelation and explained how the president of Huntington University is just like his favourite fictional character.

“Like Batman, Kevin protects the city,” said Rick Bartolucci, speaking at the event, where McCormick was made a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club of Sudbury and Rotary Club of Sudbury Sunrisers.

“It's not the city of Gotham, but it's the city of Sudbury, and he fights evil. The evils that Kevin fight are poverty, homelessness and hunger.”

The Paul Harris Fellow, named for Rotary International founder Paul Harris, is presented by the Rotary Club to outstanding individuals in a community.

“I think Kevin very much embodies the Rotary motto service above self,” said Gerry Lougheed Jr., the founder of the Rotary Club of Sudbury Sunrisers. “He embodies that in his daily living.”

McCormick has been president of Huntington University for 10 years.

Over the span of his career, he's championed global collaboration within the teaching community and has worked to build awareness around worthwhile causes and relief efforts in undeveloped countries.

In 2011, the King of Thailand named McCormick a Member of the Most Honourable Order of the Crown of Thailand in recognition of his contributions to education and humanitarianism.

Locally, McCormick is known for his work with Réseau Access Network, Maison Vale Hospice, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Sudbury Food Bank, St. John Ambulance – Ontario Council and the Vitanova Foundation, among others.

He's the Honourary Lieutenant Colonel of the Irish Regiment Second Battalion, and the creator of Project Honour and Preserve, reuniting military medals with family members, or with museums or military units.

In receiving the Paul Harris Fellow, McCormick was careful to point out he's just one cog in the wheel.

“I was very fortunate to be able to be selected, but there's so many unsung heroes working all the time to volunteer and help that don't get recognized,” McCormick said. “I want everyone to remember what they give.”

That's a lesson he's passed on to his two sons, Christopher and William.

“He has taught my brother and I it's not individual recognition that's important, but the way in which you can help educate people and bring attention to the hard-working and wonderful community groups and their initiatives,” said Christopher, who, along with his brother, spoke at the event.

Jeanne Warwick-Conroy, who rivals McCormick for her involvement in the community, said she's impressed with his work. 

“I think at one point this year, he was sitting on 11 boards at the same time,” she said.

McCormick is also very supportive of her own projects. 

“I am sure he must want to run when he sees me coming, but he has never refused me for any of my projects or events,” she said. publisher Abbas Homayed said he enjoys spending time with McCormick, who he characterizes as brilliant and quirky.

“He is one of the memorable people I've ever known, and I'm sure those of you who really know him will agree with me, he's changing lives and building hope wherever he goes,” he said. 

“Kevin, I can truly think of no one more deserving of this honour today than you are.”


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Heidi Ulrichsen

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