Duff Roblin Award Dinner

Thursday, November 9th, 2023
5:30 p.m. Reception / 6:30 p.m. Dinner
The Metropolitan Entertainment Centre

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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 a lifelong commitment to their communities. On the 40th Anniversary of the signing of the Charter that established The University of Winnipeg as a degree-granting institution, The University of Winnipeg honored and paid respect to Duff Roblin by establishing The Duff Roblin Scholars Fund and held the first ever Duff Roblin Award Dinner.

This year’s award recipient is Ms Ruth Hastings. Born and raised in Winnipeg and an accomplished business owner, Ruth is one of Winnipeg’s philanthropic cornerstones and an alumnus of both the Collegiate and The University of Winnipeg. Ruth grew up in the family business of Qualico learning the ropes from her parents, Dr. David and Katherine Friesen, and later became President of both Qualico and Rancho. She also earned her real estate and broker licenses.

Ruth Hastings

Ruth and her husband, Brian Hastings, continued her parents’ tradition of having a husband-and-wife team leading Qualico and Rancho. They also continued the tradition of hiring excellent, honest and hardworking people that provided the well-rounded expertise needed for their growing integrated real estate company. Qualico saw a steep growth trajectory within their tenure of second-generation leadership including expanding into the US and BC lower mainland markets – with Qualico now a market leader in the majority of their markets, notably being the fifth largest condo builder in the BC lower mainland and one of top 100 homebuilders in the US.

Now, as the largest privately held integrated real estate company in Western Canada, the company is now in its third generation of family leadership, with Ruth’s son-in-law, Kevin Van, serving as President and CEO. Giving back to the community is one of Ruth’s passions and something she learned from her parents, who believed in helping others even when facing personal hardships. Ruth has sat on the boards of private schools and has also participated in fundraising committees for the Canadian Cancer Society, the Alzheimer’s Society of Manitoba, and the Children’s Hospital Foundation, and ran a major donor campaign for Heart and Stroke in Winnipeg in the 1980s. Over the past 10 years, Ruth has been a champion for the Build a Future program for Habitat for Humanity Manitoba’s Women Build, where her leadership and initiative have helped raise over $500,000 and build 10 homes for homeowners, primarily single mothers. This work mirrors the ongoing commitment Qualico has made to provide support to organizations helping people in need in the communities where it builds.

Ruth continues to be a proud supporter to the UWinnipeg and was a loud and proud Wesmen fan as her two granddaughters are both UWinnipeg alumni and team members of the UWinnipeg basketball team.

Learn more about advertising opportunities and sponsoring the Duff Roblin Award Dinner 

Meet the Past recipients of the Duff Roblin Award

The Duff Roblin Scholars Fund

Duff Roblin Tribute Video

Duff Roblin Dinner Photo Gallery

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.