Best score ever as Chair’s Cup raises funds for York’s graduate students

“You are real troopers.”

That sentiment, voiced by Guy Burry (BA ’82), chair of the York University Alumni Association Board of Directors, summed up the roomful of waterlogged but cheerful golfers who had just braved a day of sometimes torrential downpours to participate in the ninth annual Kenaidan – York University Chair’s Cup Golf Tournament.

The event, which was held on May 27 at Copper Creek Golf Club in Kleinburg, raised a record $610,000 for York University graduate students, including a double match from the Ontario government.

Above: The event raised $610,000 for graduate student scholarships. From left: Patrick Monahan, dean, Osgoode Hall Law School and vice-president academic & provost-designate; Guy Burry, event co-chair; Greg Stack, event co-chair; York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri; PhD candidate and scholarship recipient Elissa Ross; and Paul Cantor, incoming chair of York’s Board of Governors.

Burry serves as co-chair for the event, along with Kenaidan Contracting Ltd. Vice-President, Business Development & Design Greg Stack (BA Spec. Hons. ’81). Since its inception, the tournament has raised more than $3.75 million with government matching, representing 250 graduate student scholarships.

York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri said the tournament gets better every year, adding: “I wish I could say the same about my golf game.” In his remarks to participants, he emphasized the importance of supporting graduate students. “This is critical for a major research university like York,” he said. “We succeed or fail according to the quality of our graduate students. Through their contributions to original research, they advance knowledge, and they are a bar by which we, as a University, are measured.”

Shoukri also took the opportunity to update the crowd that the York to the Power of 50 campaign was now more than $185 million toward its $200-million goal.

Left: The winning foursome from Q9 Networks. From left, Richard Carleton, Anthony Giorgi, Mike Bedard and Clarke Irwin. In total, a full slate of 40 teams took part from a wide range of organizations.

Kenaidan Contracting Ltd., a tournament sponsor for several years, assumed title sponsorship for 2009, joining premier and founding sponsor TD Insurance Meloche Monnex at the head of a long list of enthusiastic corporate sponsors.

“Because of the economic conditions, many events are having trouble retaining sponsorship and participation,” said York University Foundation President & CEO Paul Marcus. “The fact that this tournament was sold out in March and went over goal is a testament to the co-chairs, committee, our loyal supporters and the calibre of this tournament.”

Right: Kenaidan Contracting Ltd. President & CEO Aidan Flatley out on the course. Kenaidan Contracting is title sponsor for the event.

York PhD candidate Elissa Ross, who is studying mathematics, was on hand as a representative of York’s graduate students. “Holding a scholarship has meant that I have been able to reduce my teaching load and spend more time concentrating on my research,” she told participants. “It really is time that you’re giving and it’s priceless.” She briefly described her research focusing on the rigidity of infinite, repetitive structures like zeolites – minerals that have applications from gasoline production to water purification to the manufacture of medical grade oxygen.

Transforming students’ lives by increasing scholarships and awards is a campaign priority for York to the Power of 50, York University’s 50th anniversary fundraising campaign and the largest in the University’s history.

Above: From left, Tournament participant John Bezina; Vice-President Paul Douglas and Senior Manager Colin Harker of TD Insurance Meloche Monnex; and Kim Allen, CEO & Registrar of  Professional Engineers of Ontario

To view more photos of the event, click here.

For more information about the 10th anniversary of the tournament in 2010, contact Jenny Galati, senior special events coordinator, York University Foundation, at 416-650-8169.