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St FX honours three with Alumni Awards of Excellence

The StFX Alumni Association is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2011 Alumni Awards of Excellence. Being honoured this year are Ellen Costello ’76, Distinguished Alumna of the Year; Robyn Tingley ’96, Young Alumna of the Year; and Jim Brennan, Friend of StFX.

These awards will be presented Sept. 30, 2011 at the Welcome Home Dinner, which kicks off StFX’s annual Homecoming celebration. The dinner and presentations take place at the StFX Keating Centre.

Alumni and friends are invited to join in the celebration.  For tickets to the Welcome Home Dinner, please contact the Alumni Office at (902) 867-2186 or purchase online at

For more information on Homecoming, please also see

Ellen M. Costello
Alumni Award of Excellence, Distinguished Alumna of the Year

Ellen Costello is Chief Executive Officer of BMO Financial Corp. and U.S. Country Head of Toronto-based BMO Financial Group, one of North America's leading financial services providers. She is responsible for providing governance and regulatory oversight for all of BMO's U.S. businesses. After joining BMO in 1983, Ms. Costello held progressively senior positions in Corporate Banking and Treasury, serving in leadership positions in Derivatives, as Regional Treasurer in Asia in 1993 and in 1995 as Senior Vice-President and Deputy Treasurer. In 1997, she was appointed Executive Vice-President, Global Treasury Group. In 2000, she was named Head of Securitization and Credit Investment Management; in 2003, head of BMO Capital Markets, New York; and in 2006 she assumed responsibility for Merchant Banking. Later in 2006 she was named Group Head for Personal and Commercial Banking U.S. and President and CEO, Harris Financial Corp. She was appointed to her current role in July 2011. Ms. Costello holds a BBA from StFX and earned her MBA from Dalhousie University. She serves on a number of boards, including the United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, After School Matters, the Executives' Club of Chicago and the Financial Services Roundtable. She is a member of the Commercial Club, its Civic Committee, the Chicago Network, and the Economic Club of Chicago.

Robyn Tingley
Alumni Award of Excellence, Young Alumna of the Year

Robyn Tingley, a Campbellton, NB native, graduated from StFX in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, followed by a post-graduate degree in journalism at King’s College. She interned at ELLE Magazine in New York City before joining NBTel (Aliant) where she spent 11 years, the last five as Vice President Communications & Public Affairs for national telecommunications leader Bell Aliant. Ms. Tingley left that post to pursue an international career, relocating to Belgium in 2008 to serve as Vice President of Human Resources & Communications Europe, Middle East, Africa at Ingram Micro. She has since been appointed Vice President Human Resources North America, and is now based in Orange County, California at the company’s worldwide headquarters. She is one of the few Canadians to have earned her certification as a Global Human Resources Professional. Ms. Tingley has served on the boards of the University of New Brunswick, Theatre New Brunswick Foundation, and the New Brunswick Museum. She and her husband, Brent McGovern, have spent the last decade preserving and rebuilding some of the nation’s oldest housing stock in Saint John. From their new home base in the U.S., they continue to invest in the city’s heritage renewal.

Jim Brennan
Alumni Award of Excellence, Friend of StFX

im Brennan has enjoyed a long association with StFX. As senior vice president of Bird Construction Company and formerly the founding partner of Rideau Construction Incorporated, he has been involved in several construction projects on the StFX campus including the new Physical Sciences Complex, renovations to MacIsaac Hall, Bishops Hall, the Coady International Institute, and most recently the Gerald Schwartz School of Business and the Frank McKenna Center of Excellence. On a personal level, he has several siblings who attended StFX, including Tom, Terry, Cathy, Marcia, Mike, and Andrea. Many nieces and nephews have attended StFX, and Mr. Brennan’s daughter Emma entered the StFX business program in the fall of 2011.  Prior to joining Bird in February 2008, Mr. Brennan, who holds a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of New Brunswick, was the president and founding partner of Rideau Construction Incorporated. Bird is a national general contractor operating in the commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors. Mr. Brennan grew up on a potato farm in Bath, New Brunswick. He is married to Barb, and they have four children, Emma, Jacob, Maggie and Abby.


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