Stan Blade, ALES Dean, receives Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal from the province

Donna McKinnon - 24 January 2023

Congratulations to Stan Blade, Dean, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, who was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee Medal on January 19, 2023 in recognition of his significant contributions to the province. 

Deeply appreciative of the honour, Blade sees it less as an individual distinction and more of a recognition of the community he has been part of for more than forty years. 

“This is an acknowledgement of the work of all of the various groups that I'm involved with, including this faculty,” he says. “I really see it as a reflection of that.”

A self-professed farm boy from Millet, Alberta, Blade’s passion for agricultural innovation and advocacy has been a personal and global journey, with extended research-related posts in Africa early in his career, followed by a variety of academic and professional roles here in Canada and the United States. As Dean, a role he has held since 2014, Blade has helped to foster both new and existing connections within the province. (He is also one of the University of Alberta’s most prolific Tweeters, especially among deans, where he routinely celebrates the work of his colleagues and students.) 

“Everything we do in ALES has a practical application to the province,” says Blade. “Just on the economic side, we directly partner with the food and forest industries, alongside the environmental work that we do with the energy sector and land reclamation, restoration ecology, human ecology, and of course, working closely with communities in the province.” 

Throughout his tenure, Blade has worked to raise the profile of the faculty and the University of Alberta as an international leader in agricultural sciences and research, which he credits to the hard work of his colleagues, fellow researchers and students. 

In every part of my career as a research scientist, board member or volunteer, here in Alberta and Canada, or in international agricultural development, it’s always about that interaction with people," he says. “That’s how it works, it’s no longer about the selfless individual.”

The commemorative medal was created in 2022 to mark the 70th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the Throne as Queen of Canada. (Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the program will conclude on February 5, 2023.)

“It was great to see colleagues and friends and fellow board members from across the province receive the honour, including one of our alumni, Senator Patti LaBoucane-Benson,” says Blade. “To be there at Government House, with Linda, my wife, supporting me, was just fun. I am very grateful.”