2019 GRADitude Networking Reception a resounding success

Close to 350 guests came out to the Arcadian Loft for the annual GRADitude Networking Reception on May 2. The event presented a unique opportunity for some of York University’s most accomplished alumni to welcome new graduates to the ranks of alumni and offered a chance for networking and building connections for the future.

GRADitude guests gather at the reception at the Arcadian Loft

“The GRADitude program has evolved over the years into a suite of events that enables alumni and soon-to-be alumni to take advantage of our network of more than 315,000 alumni globally, and to continue their relationship with their alma mater,” said Julie Lafford, executive director, alumni engagement. “We have a diverse and remarkable community of York students and alumni, and these occasions allow us to help facilitate relationships and connections that both groups truly enjoy.”

Guests interacted with Apollo, the York robot.

In addition to interacting with Apollo, the York robot, and various other networking activities during the night, guests had the chance to enjoy rounds of mentoring with successful York alumni from a variety of careers. Mentors joined from Rogers Media, Intact Financial, Strategy Corp and McMillan LLP, to name a few.

The evening included three award presentations for the Alumni Golden GRADitude Award, given to two graduating students who have made the University a better place. The Silver Jubilee Award was presented to a current York undergraduate student who has excelled in their studies and made a significant contribution to York or the community. Lastly, the Harry Arthurs Award was presented to an incoming undergraduate student who has excelled in school and is a child, grandchild or sibling of a York graduate.

From left: Faisal Abbasi (BAS ’14) with 2010 Golden GRADitude Award recipient Robert Coutts (BA ’09, BEd ’10)

“Receiving this award is a nice validation of the work I’m doing, work I’m so passionate about,” said Nader Chaya, recipient of the Silver Jubilee Award. “I work with at-risk youth, helping the community and working with people who are marginalized, and this award, I hope, will open more doors and help to continue the work that I do.”

From left: Nader Chaya with Francesca Accinelli, York University Alumni Board Chair

GRADitude is graciously sponsored by York University’s alumni affinity and privileges partners: TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, Manulife and Contiki. To learn more about the GRADitude program, visit alumniandfriends.yorku.ca/graditude. To see more photos from the event, visit the York Alumni Facebook page.