York wins eight advancement awards in two competitions

If nothing succeeds like success, York proved it again in two advancement awards competitions for universities in Canada and around the world.

York’s University Relations Division won two awards in the Council for the Support & Advancement of Education (CASE) Circle of Excellence Awards, a worldwide competition including schools from the international organization’s North American, European and Asia-Pacific regions. And University Relations and the York University Foundation combined for a total of six awards in the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE) Prix d’Excellence Awards.

Honoured were York advertising, publications, programs and media releases involving everything from last year’s 50th anniversary celebrations to academic research on songbird migration. “These awards are testament to the top-quality work produced by the team in this division,” said Jennifer Sloan, vice-president university relations. “I want to congratulate them and our colleagues in the York University Foundation for a job very well done.”

Above: TTC turnstiles decked out in York U50 colours were part of the subway domination campaign

In the CASE awards, the Account Direction team in University Relations won a silver medal for the awareness campaign for York’s 50th anniversary, one of 54 entries from around the world in the Advertising Campaigns category. The 12-month, fully integrated campaign involved newspaper, magazine and online ads as well as York’s high-profile “station domination” of the Yonge & Bloor subway station, involving York messaging on posters, pillars, stairs, fare booths, turnstiles and more.

YorkU magazine, part of the Publications unit in University Relations, won its fourth consecutive CASE award in the Internal Audience Periodical category, earning silver. Entered were the April and December 2009 campus-only editions (right), which featured the 50th anniversary and York’s top undergraduate students on their covers.

In the CCAE competition, York’s 50th birthday celebrations again figured prominently.

The York University Foundation (YUF) picked up silver in the category Best Program: Development for its efforts in the York to the Power of 50 fundraising campaign, including campaign materials, video, special events and other elements. “This is truly a collective achievement and recognition of the hard work that went into this campaign,” said YUF President & CEO Paul Marcus. “We are also very fortunate to have had great support from the University, our volunteers and generous donors.”

Right: The 50th anniversary York in Concert Black Tie Gala was among the events that helped win Best Program silver

York’s U50 project team won CCAE silver for Best Program: Public Affairs, Marketing & Communications. The year-long program, including events, advertising, merchandise and organization, was singled out for its extensive consultation and good long-term plan executed by Cindy Bettcher, U50 project director and now special adviser to Sloan. The judges liked the simple, straightforward U50 name and complimented the ad campaign on being “clean, simple, interesting”.

York circle participantsLeft: York Circle participants enjoy their campus visit

In the category Best Community Outreach, the Account Direction unit struck silver for The York Circle, the U50 legacy program led by President Emerita Lorna Marsden that is designed to attract members of the community onto York’s campuses. The York Circle hosts a twice-yearly Lecture & Lunch Series, a new Prestigious Performances Series and other events. Judges noted the sense of exclusivity engendered by the membership aspect.

The Publications unit brought home two more CCAE medals for YorkU magazine. It won gold for Best Writing/Article (English), awarded for Canadian author Barry Callaghan’s poignant and often humorous memoir in the Summer 2009 issue of his teaching days at the former Atkinson College. A feature photo of Toronto-based media consultant Kaan Yigit (right) – the work of art director James Nixon and freelance photographer Jeff Kirk – earned silver in the Best Photograph category. It appeared in YorkU’s special anniversary edition in February 2009.

A media release about a new study of bird migration by Bridget Stutchbury, Canada Research Chair in Ecology & Conservation Biology in York’s Faculty of Science & Engineering, won a CCAE silver medal in the Best English News Release category for York’s Media Relations unit. The release, written by media relations officer Melissa Hughes, led to stories in National Geographic and major US and Canadian daily newspapers, including The New York Times, the Washington Post and The Globe and Mail. The story was also reported on TV, radio and online outlets around the world.