Durham College recognizes 2024 Alumni of Distinction

Durham College is proud to celebrate our 2024 Alumni of Distinction, two individuals who have launched impressive careers built on a foundation of skill and experience gained at DC.

Shelby Nelson (Sport Administration – 2000) and Adam Ruppel (Business – Human Resources – 1997) will be recognized during DC’s Spring Convocation which runs from June 17 to 20.

Nelson joined the Toronto Blue Jays organization shortly after earning his diploma in an entry level position as an account executive. His goal was to work for a professional sports team in a role that would help him grow.

Over the past 24 years, his career trajectory has seen him rise to Vice President of Florida Operations where he leads a team responsible for Spring Training, the Dunedin Blue Jays, and the Player Development Complex.

“Durham College was instrumental in shaping my career,” said Nelson. “The combination of the skills I learned during my post-grad diploma at DC and the pivotal internship opportunity not only shaped my skills but also opened the door to my professional journey with the Toronto Blue Jays.

His proudest achievement was leading the re-development of TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Florida and the construction of a brand-new Player Development Complex which was subsequently recognized as the best in major league baseball by MLB.

Ruppel has transformed the events industry in Ontario, launching his career in event management from his home.

His achievements include producing the largest 24-hour mountain bike event in North America, the 24 Hours of Summer Solstice, co-founding Mudhero and quickly establishing it as Canada’s largest obstacle race and co-founding the Drive Festival at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, attracting over 30,000 attendees annually.

Ruppel said his work over 30 years has been driven by passion.

“It’s just been a massive adventure and a tremendous rush and it keeps me active outside and engaged with communities of all types,” he said. “Durham College was pivotal in my entrepreneurial career by providing me those networking opportunities with people that really helped me launch my business and also giving me that structure that really took me to that next level.”

Ruppel will accept his Alumni of Distinction Award at Convocation on June 18 while Nelson will be honoured at a June 20 ceremony.

“We are proud to recognize Shelby and Adam, Durham College alumni who have not only left a mark on their industries, but in the communities where they work so hard,” said Linda Flynn, Associate Vice-President, Office of Advancement and Alumni Relations for DC. “These remarkable individuals exemplify the strength of a DC education and they embody the possibilities for our graduating students launching their careers.”