Donald MacLaren Sr. was a fur trader from Peace River, Alberta, Canada who became one of Canada's ace pilots during the First World War and founded the first commercial airline on the Canadian west coast, Pacific Airways. He later piloted the inaugural flight of Trans-Canada Airlines, which later became Air Canada. Mr. MacLaren died in 1988 at the age of 95.

This award is named in memory of Major MacLaren's son, Donald MacLaren Jr., the former Public Affairs Manager of Air Canada, who was an avid supporter of closer working relationships between all cooperative education institutions throughout the world. This prestigious award is to be presented at the bi-annual World Conference on Cooperative Education to an individual in recognition of high achievement and continuing commitment to the enhancement of international cooperative education.

CRITERIA: Significant contributions to international work integrated learning will be given priority in the selection of the recipient of this award. Ideally, the recipient will have:
  • been innovative in the application of work integrated learning techniques;
  • a documented history of producing international work based education;
  • contributed research to the field;
  • provided key leadership in managing/administering a program; and
  • evidence of active involvement in related associations for the field.
Since the inception of this prestigious WACE Award in 1983, the following individuals have been honored:
  • 1983 Malcom Brewer, UK
  • 1985 Robert Vozzella, USA
  • 1987 Robert Laslett, Australia
  • 1989 Patricia Rowe, Canada
  • 1991 Thomas Lloyd Inglis, Scotland
  • 1993 James Wilson, USA
  • 1995 Ron Schulz, UK
  • 1997 Gerald Murphy, Australia
  • 1999 Rick Reeve, Canada
  • 2001 Louis Engelbrecht, South Africa
  • 2003 Richard Coll, New Zealand
  • 2005 Christopher Pratt, USA
  • 2007 Neil Ward, UK
  • 2009 Olof Blomqvist, Sweden
  • 2011 Ian Goulter, Australia
  • 2013 Wichit Srisa-an, Thailand
  • 2015 Dr. Karsten Zegwaard, New Zealand
  • 2017 Dr. Norah McRae, Canada
  • 2019 Professor Gayle Elliott, United States
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