2015 Alumni of Distinction


The Alumni of Distinction Awards honour the extraordinary contributions Durham College (DC) graduates make to society while achieving career success.

Vanessa Hughes
Business – Human Resources, 1990

Soon after graduating from the Business – Human Resources program, Vanessa Hughes gained employment with Ontario Hydro followed by its successor company, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), where she worked in the human resources (HR) department. During her now 25-year career with OPG, she was a Power Within Award winner, has worked at the Pickering, Ont., and Darlington, Ont., nuclear stations and has navigated her way through the company’s Corporate Relations and Communications department. She is now senior manager, Corporate Relations and Communications, at Pickering Nuclear.

Matt Warburton
Graphic Design, 1983

Matt Warburton graduated from the DC Graphic Design program in 1983. After completing his program placement with Toronto-based Typesettra Limited, he was hired as a typographer upon graduation, something he considers to have been an important stepping stone in his design career. Throughout the years, Warburton has worked with various design firms in Toronto and Vancouver and has run his own firm for more than 15 years. He has also been an active volunteer and certified member with the Society of Graphic Designers Canada since 1990, serving as national president from 2002 to 2004. Warburton has also sat on many committees, including DC Graduate Student Portfolio Reviews, the Canada Post Stamp Advisory Committee and the Kwantlen University College Program Advisory Committee. Along with fellow alumnus, Bob Wheller, he has also created the current DC shield logo. He continues to support young designers through mentoring and as a sessional instructor with the Emily Carr University of Art and Design and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Bob Wheller
Graphic Design, 1983

Since graduating from the DC Graphic Design program in 1983, Bob Wheller has been involved with many projects in various countries from Canada to Australia. Now calling the United Kingdom home, Wheller has been a creative director with London-based publishing company, The Team, for nearly 10 years. He has also worked on a few notable and recognizable pieces, including creating the DC logo in 1989 with fellow alumnus, Matt Warburton, and more recently, the Royal Mail Stamp commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. Although he lives abroad, Wheller carries his DC experiences with him, visiting colleges in the United Kingdom to speak with Graphic Design students.