York U rocks its Red & White spirit on the ground and in the air

Faculty, staff and students gather for York U's first aerial photograph. The picture was taken March 26 as part of a celebration of York University's 55th birthday.

Faculty, staff and students gather for York U’s first aerial photograph. The picture was taken March 26 as part of a celebration of York University’s 55th birthday.

York University’s Red and White spirit looks just as good from the air as it does from the ground.

On March 26, faculty, staff and students celebrated York’s 55th birthday by posing for the University’s first aerial photograph. Several hundred people turned out in their red and white York gear to pose for the photograph. Red toques were handed out to the first 200 people. After some skillful organizing by staff from the Office of the President, everyone turned their best face forward for the photograph. The result is a stylized YU that brightened the wintery chill.

Just prior to the aerial photograph, hundreds of students gathered in the Student Centre on the Keele campus for a Red & White Spirit Rally to honour York University’s varsity athletes. York’s President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri got the crowd readied for the photograph with his welcoming comments.

“What a great beginning for an afternoon of celebration for York University’s third annual Red & White Day,” said a delighted Shoukri. “I am excited to see so many of you in red and white and here to celebrate this special day, which is a great way to raise our spirit at York and show the community our pride in the University.

“Today is also York University’s 55th birthday,” he said, “and in such a short time, we’ve managed to create one of the country’s leading universities through our commitment to academic excellence, student life and community engagement. We are on our way – this is York’s time. We are creating a university that is second to none.

“I am pleased and excited about being here today – let’s celebrate!” he said.

Red and White Day began bright and early with an Alumni breakfast for grads working on campus. Throughout the day, volunteers from the student ambassador group York is U handed out luscious red velvet cake pops to students in Vari Hall. The day also included a very popular Food Truck event with street food by some of Toronto’s top road worthy gourmets, including Smokie’s Poutinerie, Food Dudes, Cornehcopia and Beaver Tails.

There were plenty of “spirited” food deals with discounts across the University. The York University Bookstore (Keele and Glendon locations) took 25 per cent off all red and white giftware and clothing.

There was also a Red & White Day photo competition. The winner will be announced later this week in YFile. Faculty, staff and students were asked to submit photos showing their York U spirit for a chance to win some great prizes.

To view a Storify of the day’s tweets and Instagram photos, visit https://storify.com/YUPres4aDay/red-and-white-day-yorkus-55th-birthday-celebration.

Here is a list of the York athletes honoured during Red & White Day:

York Lions men’s track & field team, winners of the 2014 Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship:

  • Charles Akomolafe
  • Sam Neal
  • Chris Preece
  • Anojan Sivalingam
  • Muad Issa – OUA bronze medallist
  • Chris Pallotta – OUA bronze medallist
  • Suraj Sharma – OUA bronze medallist
  • Wesley Huff – OUA silver medallist
  • Ingvar Moseley – CIS bronze medallist, OUA silver and bronze medallist
  • Umar Khan – CIS bronze medallist, OUA silver medallist, OUA second-team all-star
  • Richard Jansen – OUA gold medallist, OUA first-team all-star
  • Ayo Agusto – CIS gold medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA silver medallist
  • Bismark Boateng – CIS gold and bronze medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA bronze medallist
  • Jameel Brown – CIS gold medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, 2-time OUA silver medallist, OUA second-team all-star
  • Ryan Charlton – CIS gold medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA bronze medallist
  • Birko Montinat – CIS gold medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian
  • David McKay – CIS gold medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA gold medallist, OUA first-team all-star
  • Eric Brathwaite – CIS gold and silver medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA field events most valuable performer, two-time OUA gold medallist, OUA first-team all-star
  • Dontae Richards-Kwok – CIS championship most outstanding performer, 4-time CIS gold medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA track events most valuable performer, 2-time OUA gold medallist, OUA first-team all-star
  • And the team’s head coach, Colin Inglis, who was also voted the CIS coach of the year.

York Lions women’s track and field athletes:

  • Brittany Crew – CIS silver medallist, CIS second-team all-Canadian, OUA gold medallist, OUA first-team all-star
  • Tameran Defreitas – CIS gold medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA gold medallist, OUA first-team all-star
  • Danielle Knight – CIS gold medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA gold medallist, OUA first-team all-star
  • Sheereen Harris – CIS gold medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA gold and bronze medallist, OUA first-team all-star
  • Khamica Bingham – CIS championship most outstanding performer, 3-time CIS gold medallist, CIS first-team all-Canadian, OUA track events most valuable performer, 2-time OUA gold medallist, OUA first-team all-star

York Lions men’s volleyball athletes:

  • Nicolas Pirnat – CIS all-rookie team, OUA all-rookie team
  • Greg Ivan – OUA Dale Iwanoczko Sportsman Award, OUA second-team all-star
  • Ray Szeto – CIS second-team all-Canadian, OUA first-team all-star

York Lions wrestling athletes:

  • Urshian Khalid – OUA and CIS student-athlete community service award recipient
  • Omar Thomas – OUA bronze medallist

York Lions women’s volleyball athletes:

  • Aleks Arsovic – OUA East all-rookie team
  • Brittney Hopley – OUA East second-team all-star
  • Melissa Humana-Paredes – OUA East second-team all-star
  • Brandie Wilkerson – OUA East second-team all-star
  • Michelle Pierce – OUA East first-team all-star

York Lions women’s hockey athlete:

  • Kristen Barbara – OUA second-team all-star

York Lions women’s basketball athlete:

  • Kayla Pangos – OUA East Joy Bellinger Award recipient

York Lions men’s basketball athletes:

  • Nathan Culbreath – OUA East all-rookie team
  • Phillip Cunningham-Gillen – OUA East all-rookie team
  • Nick Tufegdzich – OUA East second-team all-star

Story and photographs by Jenny Pitt-Clark, YFile editor.
Aerial photograph by Mike Dahiroc, digital media assistant, York University Lions.
Storify compiled by Ijade Maxwell Rodrigues, chief of staff.

For more York University news, photos and videos, visit the YFile homepage