A celebration of excellence

This evening, members of the York community, friends and alumni will honour the 2004 Bruce Bryden Alumni Recognition Award recipients with a gala event. The awards recognize York alumni and friends who have brought honour to themselves and to York. Four individuals will be applauded at this year’s event: Joseph Sorbara (LLB ‘68), Timothy Price, Janet Green Foster (BA ’69, PhD ’76) and Peter Currie (BA ’73, MBA ’78). Here are brief biographical sketches of the award recipients:

Contribution Category: Joseph D. Sorbara
Recognizing dedication to the advancement of York University through commitment and contributions

Joseph Sorbara is a principal of The Sorbara Group, a family-owned enterprise engaged in the insurance brokerage business and the real estate development and investment business. Prior to becoming involved in The Sorbara Group, he was a partner in the law firm of Tanzola & Sorbara to which he continues to serve as legal counsel.

Sorbara was appointed to the York University Board of Governors in 1988. He was made an honorary governor in 2000 after 12 years of service. He now chairs the York University Development Corporation and is also a member of the York University Foundation board of directors.

Sorbara attended the University of St. Michael’s College and received his BA in 1963 and MA in 1965 from the University of Toronto. He earned his law degree  in 1968 from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1970.

Friend Category: Timothy Price
Recognizing contributions made by people who are not York alumni

Timothy Price is Chair of Brascan Financial Corporation (formerly Trilon Financial Corporation). Price received his BA in 1964 from the University of Victoria and his CA in Quebec in 1969. He was appointed to the York University Board of Governors in 1996, and is currently the vice-chair of the board, Chair of the Finance and Staff Resources Committee, and a member of the Executive Committee and the board of directors of the York University Development Corporation. In 2002 he became the first Chair of the York University Foundation Board of Directors. He also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Schulich School of Business.

Price is active on several other public corporate boards including: Astral Media Inc., Acktion Corporation, Dia Met Minerals Ltd., Goldlist Properties Inc. and Nexfor Inc. In the community, he serves on the St. Michael’s Hospital Foundation Board and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Foundation Board. He is president of the Mad River Golf Club.

Achievement Category: Janet Green Foster
Recognizing true distinction in professional life or in any field of endeavour

Janet Green Foster has written, produced, filmed and co-hosted numerous nature documentaries, including the CBC television series “To the Wild Country”, “This Land” and “Wild Canada”. She is co-owner with her husband John of a production company which they formed in 1987. Green Foster and her husband have produced programs for TVOntario, CBC, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Channel Four (Britain) and the Discovery Channel (Canada). Green Foster has co-authored with her husband three non-fiction books for children and two adult non-fiction books based on their CBC television series.

Among their television awards is a Gemini for Best Photography in 1995 and the Golden Sheaf Award for Best Science and Nature Documentary. Last year, they received the Directors’ Award from the Friends of Algonquin.

In 1965, Janet Green Foster entered York University (Glendon) as a mature student and embarked on a Hons. BA, followed by an MA in history at the University of Toronto. In 1971, she returned to York for her doctorate, completing her thesis on the early history of wildlife conservation in Canada. Her doctoral thesis was published in 1978 (re-published in l998) by the UofT Press under the title, Working for Wildlife: the Beginning of Preservation in Canada.

Leadership Category: Peter W. Currie
Recognizing a true pioneering spirit in professional life or in any field of endeavour

Peter Currie graduated from York University in 1973 with a BA in economics and later returned to York to earn his MBA in 1978. Currie is vice-chairman and chief financial officer of RBC Financial Group, the brand name for the Royal Bank of Canada and its subsidiaries. As a member of RBC Financial Group’s management committee, he is one of nine executives responsible for setting the group’s overall strategic direction. In 2003, he was named Canada’s CFO of the Year. Currie joined Royal Bank in April 1997 from Northern Telecom Limited, where he was senior vice-president and chief financial officer.

Currie serves on the boards of several industry, community, educational and international institutions, including York University as Chair of its Audit Committee, member of its board of governors and member of the Board of Advisors for the Schulich School of Business, Toronto East General Hospital where he is the Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee, and the Private Sector Council based in Washington, DC. Currie was also a volunteer for the York University National Campaign.

Who was Bruce Bryden?

R. Bruce Bryden (1943-1992) graduated from York University in 1964 with a BA in sociology and economics. Bryden’s commitment, respect and contributions helped shape York University. He became founding president of York’s Alumni Association (1965-1966) and was the alumni member of University Senate (1966-1968). In 1971, he joined the University’s Board of Governors, and in 1974 became a Fellow of McLaughlin College. Bryden served as the first alumni Chair (of only two) of the York University Board of Governors from 1982 to 1992.