Duff Roblin Award


Thank you for visiting the new Duff Roblin Award page. We hope you take the time to peruse our site and see how far we’ve come since the inception of the annual Duff Roblin Dinner first held in 2007.

Mindful of the prevailing global situation and placing the health and safety of our University community first, the Duff Roblin Dinner Committee made an early decision to cancel the 2020 dinner.

Our annual Duff Roblin Dinner is a much-anticipated event where we pay tribute to the Honourable Duff Roblin’s legacy and recognize outstanding citizens and patrons of education. This year we are proud to recognize UWinnipeg’s 2020 cohort of students with the 2020 Duff Roblin Award for their resilience and perseverance in the face of the many challenges posed by COVID-19. 

Since the first Duff Roblin Dinner, over $800,000 has been raised towards community learning and pathways to education funds. In addition, donors have made significant contributions to the Duff Roblin Scholars Fund bringing the balance to over $1.2 million. 

Our hope is to continue the tremendous fundraising success brought each year from the Duff Roblin Dinner by providing donors an opportunity to participate online.

We are asking you to help us recognize, celebrate and support the 2020 student cohort by making a generous contribution to the Duff Roblin Graduate Fellowships Fund, and/or any other fund you may wish to support. Simply click here to be redirected to our donation page.

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The Duff Roblin Scholars Fund

Duff Roblin Tribute Video

Sneak Peek at the 2021 Duff Roblin Dinner

Student Relief Fund

The Opportunity Fund

Duff Roblin Dinner Photo Gallery

About The Honourable Duff Roblin PC, CC, OM, LLD, DCL (1917 – 2010)

Born and raised in Manitoba, The Honourable Duff Roblin was a revered citizen admired by his community. In 1954, Roblin was chosen as leader of the provincial Progressive Conservative Party. Following victory in the 1958 election, Roblin served as Premier of the Province for nine years until 1967. After retiring from provincial politics, he was appointed to the Senate in 1978, later serving as Senate Leader from 1984 to 1986. He remained an active member until 1992. The University of Winnipeg, McGill University, and the University of Manitoba awarded Honorary Degrees to Roblin. He also received a Doctorate of Canon Law from St. John’s College.

Roblin was a visionary leader who advocated for education as the path to a brighter future for all citizens of our province. In addition to overseeing the granting of The University of Winnipeg Charter in 1967, his contributions to education included restoring of the use of French in Manitoba schools and increasing the accessibility of post-secondary studies for Manitobans.

Established by The University of Winnipeg and its Foundation in 2007, the Duff Roblin Award recognizes outstanding Manitobans who, like inaugural recipient The Honourable Duff Roblin, are patrons of education and have demonstrated exemplary citizenship and lifelong commitment to their communities.

Meet the Past recipients of the Duff Roblin Award

Student Thank You Video

Since the Duff Roblin Dinner’s inception, guests and sponsors of the annual event have supported hundreds of students pursuing postsecondary education. The video below is their message of gratitude.

Bob KozminskiGreetings from Dr. R.M. Bob Kozminski

As Honorary Chair of The University of Winnipeg Foundation’s Duff Roblin Dinner Committee, I would like to thank you for visiting the new Duff Roblin Award website.

First held in 2007, The Duff Roblin Award Dinner boasts an impressive list of past recipients—the first of which being former Premier and longtime friend of UWinnipeg, Dr. Duff Roblin. During his tenure as Manitoba’s 14th Premier between 1958 and 1967, Roblin helped expand the provincial education system and increase educational accessibility at all levels. In addition to these reforms one of his last acts as Premier involved granting United College its charter in July of 1967, ushering in a new era on our campus.

In the years since 2007, every Duff Roblin Award recipient has exemplified the same level of commitment to education that Roblin displayed. Education means more than what takes place in the classroom for our award recipients. Working tirelessly to help provide support for funds that allow students from impoverished backgrounds to attend school, volunteering at events, and helping create an inclusive culture that places education at the forefront of communal development is something each of our recipients continue to strive for in one way or another. I hope their dedication inspires you to help make the same changes in your own community.

Thank you for visiting our new website and for showing your support for our scholars and programs. We look forward to continuing this tradition next year


Dr. R.M. Bob Kozminski

Sherri Walsh and Danny BubisGreetings from Sherri Walsh and Danny Bubis

On behalf of the Duff Roblin Dinner Committee we are pleased to welcome you to this year’s online celebration. As committee co-chairs, it is a great privilege to recognize the outstanding work that our fellow Manitobans have achieved. We hope that you will join us in honoring their accomplishments.

Due to the health and safety concerns posed by COVID-19, the Duff Roblin Dinner Committee elected to hold this year’s celebration of excellence online. Ensuring that our community remains safe by taking the necessary precautions is a decision that goes beyond UWinnipeg—one that helps flatten the curve across Manitoba.

Despite the obvious limitations posed by celebrating at a distance, the Committee has worked hard to widen the scale of interaction that donors and friends of the University can find on this page. Visitors can learn about the history of the award through our Duff Roblin tribute video, hear greetings from leaders within the UWinnipeg community, learn about the variety of awards being presented for donors to support, and watch a thank you video from our students who received the 2020 Duff Roblin Award to support their resilience during these challenging times. 

We are also pleased to share a special announcement about next year’s dinner and encourage you to read on for an exciting sneak peek at the 2021 Duff Roblin Dinner.

The decision to host the celebration online this year also aids in preventing a gap in funding for critical scholarships and bursaries like the Duff Roblin Scholars Fund, the Opportunity Fund and the new Student Relief Fund. Providing support to our students is of the utmost importance as we weather the effects of this pandemic. A donation to these areas of support helps make sure that talented students are able to continue their studies unabated by the weight of tuition or living cost payments.

On behalf of The University of Winnipeg Foundation, we want to thank you for your investment in the future and for the role you continue to play in carrying out the vision of our inaugural award recipient. We look forward to meeting with you all again soon.

As you visit this page from the comfort and safety of your homes, we want to leave you with one of our favourite quotes, from Dr. Duff Roblin: “Education is not a cost or a bill or an expense but a wholesome investment in human life, growth and comprehension.”


Sherri Walsh and Danny Bubis

James CurrieGreetings from Dr. James Currie

As Interim President and Vice-Chancellor, I would like to thank you for visiting the Duff Roblin Award website. I hope you enjoy taking part in this online celebration of success.

Adapting to the challenges posed by COVID-19 has changed the way we provide and support education at UWinnipeg. As our institution continues to innovate and support students who are learning at a distance, our fundraising priorities have shifted to match these new demands. Ensuring that our awards programs remain accessible and robust helps us provide students with the immediate relief they need during these difficult times. The Opportunity Fund, Duff Roblin Scholars Fund, and the new Student Relief Fund help ensure that UWinnipeg students can continue their education.

The Duff Roblin Scholars Fund provides vital opportunities for Indigenous students working toward advanced degrees. Last year, $34,000 was raised to support students in need, most of which came from your generous donations.

Another important fund supported by the Duff Roblin Dinner is The Opportunity Fund. This fund provides opportunities for Indigenous students, recent immigrants, students with refugee backgrounds, and students who are the first in their family to attend university.

The Student Relief Fund is the most recent addition to our financial awards. Conceived in the spring of this year, the fund was designed to provide stability for students struggling with the cost of living brought on by COVID-19.

Your support is proof that the UWinnipeg community is ready and willing to help students succeed. I am thankful to each and every one you for your part in helping continue Dr. Roblin’s legacy.


Dr. James Currie
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor
The University of Winnipeg

Javier SchwersenskyGreetings from Javier Schwersensky

As the new President and CEO of The University of Winnipeg Foundation, I can think of no better opportunity to meet all of you and introduce myself than at the annual Duff Roblin Award Dinner—albeit digitally and not in person. The community of donors, alumni, and faculty members who support UWinnipeg through our many fundraising initiatives both inspire and amaze me.

As we adapt to the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19, I have already seen donors like yourselves step up and make a difference. Your commitment to our students, programs, and campus make all the difference during these trying times. I look forward to helping recognize and solidify your efforts as donors as we move forward into 2021.

An essential part of what we do at any Foundation is develop a culture of giving. My role as President involves both cultivating new relationships and preserving old ones. Creating scholarships, honouring students, and supporting our staff members and the educational programs they hold dear are equally important elements that I hope to maintain and expand on as Foundation President and CEO.

I appreciate the warm welcome I have already received and look forward to meeting you all at next year’s Duff Roblin Award celebration.


Javier Schwersensky