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OT Alumni Honour Pat McKee on her Retirement
June 19, 2014
OT Alumni from the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy together with faculty, staff, family and friends paid tribute to Pat McKee at a retirement reception at Hart House on June 19 2014. Professor McKee has had a most distinguished 27-year career at UofT as an educator, mentor, researcher, colleague and friend.
The presentations made at the reception documented Pat’s many accomplishments during her career, and highlighted the enormous impact she has had on the lives of many, and on OT practice in the areas of hand therapy, ergonomics, and musculoskeletal health. Alumnus, Gail Simpson was the MC, Dr. Susan Rappolt, Chair of the department, read an eloquently written letter of congratulations from President Emeritus, Dr. David Naylor; Dr. Judith Friedland (department chair 1990-2000) presented an account of Pat McKee’s numerous and sometimes amusing contributions.
Lisa Lazzarotto spoke on behalf of the over 1700 students Pat taught since 1987 and Marie Eason Klatt spoke (and sang) on behalf of the Hand Therapy community. All attendees joined together to sing “Look Beyond” with lyrics adapted by Pat’s colleague and friend Lynn Cockburn with musical direction from Andrea Duncan. The formal program ended with an address from Professor McKee and her performance of an adapted version of “When I’m Gone” AKA “Cups”, accompanied by her daughter Alice Salamon. Musicians Catherine Wilson and Norman Hathaway contributed to the festivities with their beautiful piano and violin music.
Professor McKee said in her address “I’m quite overwhelmed. I’m incredibly grateful that you would say such wonderful things and give me such warm hugs. It’s been an awesome career.” She acknowledged the very important contributions of the clinical community in supporting the education of UofT’s OT students. “We could not do what we do without the support of our community.”
We would like to acknowledge and thank the large organizing committee of OT Alumni, and staff member, Nella Rupp, who planned the fun-filled celebration under the thoughtful direction of Professor Patty Rigby. They are Professor Anne Agur, Lorna Aitkens, Professor Andrea Duncan, Melissa Heidebrecht, Lisa Lazzarotto, Maureen Riley, Gail Simpson, Kate Turner and Chris Yuen. We would also like to thank the following MScOT students for their assistance during the reception – Brittney Dumouchelle, Alyssa Komar, and Ishanee Jahagirdar, and Jonathan Lo our volunteer photographer.
Please consider making a donation to honour Pat McKee through an award to support research by students/clinicians in the areas of hand therapy, arthritis or ergonomics (three of Pat’s areas of expertise). We would be pleased to accept your donation at http://www.donate.utoronto.ca/rehab.
Please be sure to designate your gift to the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, and note that it is a tribute gift to honour Pat McKee when you enter your credit card details. The University will send Pat a card to notify her of your thoughtfulness.