Academia / Athletics / Community Leader • University Director of Athletics & Recreation
Attended KCSS: 1984/85 – 88/89
After graduating from KCSS in 1989, Shawn went on to study at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, where he majored in Philosophy and played four years of varsity hockey. Upon graduation, Shawn learned his mother had been diagnosed with terminal cancer; she later succumbed to the disease in 1998. Eight months after losing his mom, his father was also diagnosed with cancer. In 2002 Shawn’s father passed away after a 4-year battle with the disease. The cumulative impact of these losses transformed Shawn’s life, and galvanized him to move in a direction that has resulted in his distinction.
In 2003, Shawn and his wife Jennifer created the James & Barbara Burt Memorial Fundraiser in support of Camp Oochigeas – a camp for kids with cancer. The event was an all-day hockey marathon where friends and family played hockey from dawn-to-dusk. Hoping to raise $5,000 in year one, the event raised just over $25,000. The JBB Memorial continued for two more years, raising an additional $60,000 – to bring the three-year total to $80,000. To this day, this achievement is one of Shawn’s proudest moments.
This event established, and then broke – two Guinness World Records! Cumulatively, it has raised over $20M to fund the search for a cure for cancer.
Moving on from this accomplishment, Shawn directed his passion for hockey into building brands, and growing university sport. He specifically leveraged his experience as a student – athlete at an American Ivy League school to transform two prominent university sports programmes in Canada.
Shawn was then recruited by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Once there, he assumed the role of Director of Athletics and Recreation. Currently in this position, he devotes his professional expertise and passion for sport to designing and implementing “program transformational initiatives” that will further cement McMaster’s position as the “Stanford of Canada” within the USPORTS community. See marauders.ca
An irrepressible warrior in the fight to defeat cancer, Shawn supports various on-campus fundraising and leadership initiatives. In his private time, Shawn and his wife Jennifer devote their attention and energies to the many athletic pursuits of his daughter, Mckenna and son, Ayden.
The Voice of King City Secondary School Alumni
Recognizing Outstanding KCSS Alumni