Nominations for the 2019 Bryden Alumni Awards are due Feb. 28

Each year, the York University Bryden Alumni Awards celebrate outstanding alumni who have achieved the extraordinary and made remarkable contributions to York University and the community. This year’s Bryden Awards will be held on Nov. 21 – and the Division of Advancement is seeking nominations for award recipients.

Inspired by Bruce Bryden, who was an exceptionally committed and influential leader at York University, the Bryden Alumni Awards recognize the extraordinary achievements and contributions of the University’s alumni. Bryden was a member of the first undergraduate class and held several prestigious positions, including founding president of the York University Alumni Association and member of the York University Board of Governors. To honour his vision and exemplary leadership, these awards have been named after him.

Do you know someone you’d like to nominate for a Bryden Alumni Award? Contact Nicole Light, senior alumni engagement officer, at for information on the nomination process. Nominations for the 2019 Bryden Alumni Awards are being accepted until Thursday, Feb. 28.

This year’s recipients are honoured in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Contribution: An alumnus or alumna who has made significant contribution to the advancement of York University and its students through exceptional service, commitment and/or philanthropic contributions. This award can be given to recognize someone who has been engaged at York for many years or who has made a major impact in a short period of time. This contribution will have been transformational and will have helped York University improve its position locally, across Canada and internationally.
  • Outstanding Achievement: An alumnus or alumna who has achieved eminence and distinction in their field and whose contributions, impact, integrity and success will serve to inspire alumni, faculty, staff and students. This award is intended to recognize significant achievement and should focus on mid- to late-career success.
  • Tentanda Via: An alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated innovative, unconventional and daring leadership and success, reflecting the University’s motto, “The way must be tried.” This award can be given to recognize success at any point in the recipient’s career, and would normally focus on mid- to late-career achievements.
  • One to Watch: An alumnus or alumna who has made significant impact in their field and/or community within 15 years of a bachelor’s degree or 10 years of a professional/graduate degree.

Past award recipients include:

  • Colleen Johnston (BBA ’82), special advisor to the CEO of TD Bank Group, for Outstanding Achievement;
  • Pernille Ironside (JD ’99), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for Tentanda Via;
  • entrepreneurs and  philanthropists Cheryl McEwen and Rob McEwen (MBA ’78, LLD ’05, CM), Chair and chief owner of McEwen Mining Inc., for Outstanding Contribution;
  • Irene Sankoff (BA ’99) and David Hein (BFA ’97), creators of the musical Come FromAway, for One to Watch;
  • Paul Sanberg (BSc ’76), senior vice-president for research, innovation and knowledge enterprise at the University of South Florida and president of the National Academy of Inventors, for Outstanding Achievement; and
  • Jamil Jivani (BA ’10), lawyer, law professor and author, for One to Watch.

For more information on the Bryden Alumni Awards and past recipients, visit the Alumni website or YouTube channel.

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