On November 29, Timothy Gianotti, professor of Studies in Islam at Renison University College, was awarded the Senate 150th Anniversary Medal at a ceremony in the Senate Chambers in Ottawa. The medal, created by the Senate as part of the Canada 150 celebrations, recognized Gianotti for the variety of work he does in the community, which Gianotti sees as a direct extension of his scholarly work.
Gianotti was recognized for his interfaith work, both locally and globally, which includes his work as principal grant writer and co-facilitator of the “Dealing with our Darknesses” Anglican-Muslim interfaith symposium; work with the chaplains of the Canadian Armed Forces; his work as the Principal Teacher and Director of the Islamic Institute for Spiritual Formation; as well as his service as the Principal Scholarly/Religious Consultant for the Funeral of Muhammad Ali, which was the culmination of a decade of planning and serving “the Champ” and his wife, Lonnie Ali.
Nominated by The Hon. Salma Ataullahjan, the first Canadian senator of Pakistani origin, Gianotti reflected on the wider implications of his being awarded this prestigious medal.
“I travel to Ottawa to call attention to the profound social relevance and societal impact of the wider work that educators do: so I go to honour the tireless work of my countless colleagues at so many universities, schools, and educational institutions across the world,” said Gianotti. “Education is activism, and each of you is having an impact that no one can measure.”
“I go to Ottawa […] with the prayer that there will awaken within us all a sense of social responsibility and a compelling inspiration to be more respectful, active, and tireless stewards of the creation. I ask for blessings upon this land and blessings upon its sovereign indigenous peoples, with whom I simply seek to be a responsible and respectful partner in healing and restoration, in justice, in peace, in shared abundance, and in loving sisterhood and brotherhood.”
About the Senate 150th Anniversary Medal
The Senate 150th Anniversary Medal commemorates the first time senators came to Ottawa to sit in Parliament, on November 6, 1867. The medals are being awarded to Canadians or permanent residents actively involved in their communities who, through generosity, dedication, volunteerism and hard work, make their hometowns, communities, regions, provinces or territories a better place to live.