Trio of Brandon University alumni to be fêted at Homecoming soirée

Headshots of three people.
Award recipients Dr. Matt Bray, Chad McNish, and Skyla Lundgren

Three inspiring alumni from Brandon University will be honored with awards from the BU Alumni Association at the annual Homecoming dinner and soirée next weekend.

All are invited to attend Homecoming, which is being held earlier this year to take advantage of back-to-school momentum and nicer September weather. Four days of events are scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 14 through Sunday, Sept. 17 — and almost all are free for anyone to drop in.

The awards banquet and soirée is a ticketed event, and tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are still available at, where details on the full weekend are also posted.

“The passion and enthusiasm that Brandon University grads take out into the world does not dim, and neither does their connection to BU. Homecoming is an opportunity to reconnect and celebrate all they’ve accomplished, no matter how many years it has been since their Convocation,” said BU President David Docherty. “Nothing makes me prouder than to hear how a BU education has helped in some small way support the incredible successes of our alumni.”

This year’s honorees span multiple decades of attendance at Brandon University but are united by their dedication to community:

  • Skyla Lundgren will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement
  • Chad McNish will receive the BUAA Award for Exceptional Service
  • Dr. Matt Bray will be presented posthumously with the BUAA Wall of Fame Award

“Many alumni tell us that the awards and the evening soirée are can’t-miss highlights of Homecoming weekend, and I always come away from the weekend with such admiration for all that our alumni have achieved in their lives and careers,” said Carla Eisler, BU’s Director of Advancement and Alumni Relations. “These three award recipients are wonderful examples of the dedication to excellence that so many BU alumni share. It is an honour to recognize them this year at Homecoming.”

A woman in glasses.
Skyla Lundgren

Skyla Lundgren came to Brandon University after growing up in Saskatchewan and completing a Registered Nursing program in Calgary. Looking to expand her career options, she entered the post-RN Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at BU and graduated in 1990 with the Dr. N. Demchuk award.

At Homecoming, she’ll be presented with the Distinguished Alumni Award for Career Achievement, which recognizes alumni who have made outstanding achievements in their profession, career, business, or industry.

Following her graduation from BU, Lundgren has embarked on a series of progressively more senior roles, from surgical nursing, managing operating rooms in Victoria and Calgary, and finally overseeing peri operative scheduling and electronic information system management for more than two decades, including through the height of the pandemic.

A young man in glasses.
Chad McNish

Chad McNish, part of BU’s Class of 2011, has remained deeply connected with Brandon University and with the BU Alumni Association, since his graduation. He’ll be recognized at Homecoming with the Award for Exceptional Service, which is presented to a nominee in recognition of exceptional service to Brandon University and/or the Alumni Association through a significant contribution of time and self.

Over the past 12 years, McNish served on the Alumni Association Board the maximum of three consecutive three-year terms, starting in 2011 when he became an alumnus. During that time, he served as Vice-President, President, and Past-President, along with taking on responsibility for representing the alumni on other BU boards, including the BU Foundation and the BU Strategic Plan Advisory Committee.

A constant presence at alumni events, McNish continues to play an active role with the BUAA through the Brandon Alumni Chapter, which he has been a member of since its founding in 2016.

A man in glasses and a suit.
Dr. Matt Bray

Dr. Matt Bray began his educational journey in a humble one-room schoolhouse in rural Manitoba, then began post-secondary studies at Brandon College, where he earned a BA in 1964. This led to a master’s degree from the University of Manitoba and then a Ph.D. from York University in 1977.

While at Laurentian University, Dr. Bray was promoted to Full Professor and then honored with the title of Professor Emeritus in 2007. Throughout his career, he was widely recognized as a pathbreaker in Northern Ontario history and he was actively engaged with the broader community, recognizing the importance of connecting historical scholarship with the lived experiences of Northern Ontarians.

At Homecoming, Dr. Bray will be posthumously honoured with the BUAA Wall of Fame Award. Created in 2002, the Wall of Fame Award is presented to Brandon University alumni who have made significant achievements in their career on a provincial, national, or international level bringing honour and prestige to Brandon University.


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