Guy Harrison-Murray named The Athenaeum and Acadia Alumni Student of the Year

Guy Harrison-Murray
Photo: Emmy Peacock

By Fred Sgambati (’83)

The Acadia Alumni Association is pleased to announce that Guy Harrison-Murray is the 2021 recipient of The Athenaeum and Acadia Alumni Student of the Year Award.

A highly regarded and engaging student-athlete who captained the Acadia men’s swim team in 2019 to its first Atlantic University Sport championship in 39 years, Harrison-Murray is a Paralympian, a World Champion medalist, an AUS all-star and AUS champion. Born in Bath, England, he and his family moved to Perth, Australia in 2011 before he enrolled in the Business and Marketing Honours program in the Fred C. Manning School of Business at Acadia. He is also currently interim coach of the men’s swim team.

As dominant as he was in the pool, Harrison-Murray’s academic credentials and campus contributions are equally as impressive. He is a three-time Academic All-Canadian, achieving an academic standing of 80 per cent or better while competing on one of USPORTS’ varsity teams, was awarded the AUS Community Service Award for Men’s Swimming in 2019, and recently received a prestigious Frank H. Sobey Award for Excellence in Business Studies, one of only nine business students studying at Atlantic Canadian universities to be named a recipient of the 2020-21 awards.

Acadia Alumni Association President Donalda MacBeath (’75) is delighted to acknowledge Harrison-Murray as the 2021 Student of the Year, saying, “Guy Harrison-Murray is representative of the Acadia experience and exemplifies enviable qualities of personal and civic commitment, leadership and perseverance that characterize our campus culture and members of our alumni community. During his time in Wolfville, Guy has distinguished himself as an outstanding athlete, student and mentor, contributing to the positive image and profile of the University and encouraging others to emulate his fine example. It is an honour to recognize him as this year’s recipient of The Athenaeum and Acadia Alumni Student of the Year award.”

Accolades are nothing new for Harrison-Murray. Awards earned during his time at Acadia include: the 2020 Jimmy Atomate ASU Leadership Award, given annually to a varsity athlete who has made an exceptional effort to connect with students and fans; the J. W. Johnstone Jr. Award, given annually to a superior student entering the senior/final year of an undergraduate degree program in the Faculty of Professional Studies; the 2019 KPMG Developing Marketing Potential Scholarship, recognizing and rewarding outstanding full-time students demonstrating commitment to their schools and larger communities; and the 2019 Roger Prentice Citizen Award, recognizing the contribution of Acadia University student-athletes who exemplify to the highest degree those attributes that the University values and encourages in all its student-athletes.

Harrison-Murray is also outgoing President of the Acadia Business Society and served as a student representative on the Fred C. Manning School of Business Advisory Board. He was active in student recruitment and retention efforts, having been nominated by various faculty members to serve as an Open Acadia Day Ambassador. In this role, he shared experiences and advice on thriving at Acadia with incoming students.

Additionally, he was curator of Humans of Acadia, an Instagram channel that highlighted the stories of dozens of Acadia family members, including students, staff and faculty. Contributions to the greater community include serving as President of the Acadia Players’ Association; International Student Welcome Week Leader; Acadia Ambassador; International Student Banquet Host; Junior Achievement Lecturer; and Relay for Life Captain.

Paul Callaghan, Director of the Fred C. Manning School of Business at Acadia, noted in a letter of support for Harrison-Murray’s nomination that, “Guy Harrison-Murray is a natural leader, a caring and compassionate young man, and a high-achieving student who embodies a positive agency in the world. The entire Acadia community has benefitted from his time here and should be proud of his achievements. I for one am confident that a career filled with further success and accomplishments awaits Guy, and know he will find ways to give back to the Acadia community he is very proud to be a part of.”

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