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Awards & Scholarships

2009 Bryden Award Winners

Each year, York celebrates alumni who have attained extraordinary achievements and made remarkable contributions to York and to their communities.

The '09 Bryden Alumni Award recipients are:

Pinnacle Achievement Barbara Budd
Outstanding Contribution Marshall Cohen
Local Hero Robert Drummond
Redefine the Possible Paul Jones & Mark Jones
The One-to-Watch Gretel Reid-Willis

The history of the Bryden Awards

Past Recipients


Pinnacle Achievement

A graduate who has achieved true distinction in their field and whose integrity and ability inspires alumni, faculty, staff and students.

Barbara Budd (BA '74) is a national treasure. As co-host of "As It Happens" on CBC Radio One, her charisma and unmistakable voice have entertained and informed listeners here and around the world for more than 15 years.

But Barbara is more than just a voice on the radio: in addition to her work on the airwaves, she has made her mark on the Stratford stage, acting there for five seasons. She has narrated for Discovery and even starred alongside Tom Selleck in Three Men and a Baby.

Clearly, her calling came early. At age seven, she was a regular on a Saturday morning live radio broadcast in her hometown, St. Catharines, Ontario. By age 16 she was a contributing columnist to the St. Catharines Standard.

Despite a demanding schedule, hers is a regular face at York events. Over the years, she has inspired hundreds of students to pursue their dreams. For her great success, tireless work and can-do attitude, we're proud to bestow this award upon Barbara.


Watch the profile video for Barbara Budd
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Outstanding Contribution

Dedication to the advancement of the University through exceptional service, commitment, and contributions.

Marshall Cohen, O.C. (LLB '60, LLM '63, Hon. LLD '86) is an exemplary leader and volunteer. He served for 22 years on York's Board of Governors, providing expertise and guidance to four University presidents. He took on the key leadership role of board chair from 2000 to June 2009.

He has also been a generous supporter of the University, most recently through the newly minted Judith and Marshall Cohen Leadership Award for First Generation Students and his active support of the York to the Power of 50 fundraising campaign.

His enormously successful career in government and private industry, combined with his leadership on many non-profit boards, paints an inspiring picture of possibility for the whole York community — and speaks volumes about his commitment to giving back.

It is for these outstanding contributions to York and the community that we have chosen Marshall to receive this award.


Watch the profile video for Marshall Cohen
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Local Hero

A York alumnus and employee of the University who has gone beyond the call of duty

Robert Drummond (BA '67) knows York. He experienced it as one of the first students to walk the halls of Glendon. He helped it flourish as a professor in the Department of Political Science.

He's shaped it both as a union chair and as chair of Senate. And he has led it as an administrator: first as associate dean, then acting dean and finally dean of the Faculty of Arts. He has shaken the hands of nearly 70,000 Arts students as they crossed the stage with their diplomas.

His commitment to students — teaching throughout his tenure as dean — and willingness to act as a York ambassador, representing York in media interviews, are just a few of the ways this versatile leader has made his impact.

It's this breadth of experience, as well as his deep integrity, that has earned him the respect of everyone on campus who knows him.


Watch the profile video for Robert Drummond
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Redefine the Possible

For leadership and successes which are innovative, unconventional and daring, embodying York's trailblazing motto "Redefine the Possible"

Paul Jones (BSc Spec. Hons. ’80) & Mark Jones (BA ’84) It’s a long way from York’s basketball team to the NBA, but brothers Paul and Mark Jones have each made their own way to the big game.

From his BA in economics to his onscreen duties as a sports commentator for ESPN and ABC, Mark has turned his experience on the court into his dream job.

Not to be outdone, Paul has made his own mark on the world of sports journalism, jumping from a career as a teacher and principal in York Region to reporting for TSN and being the voice of the Raptors on Toronto’s own FAN590.

Their unconventional paths to big league success bring new meaning to York’s motto, “Redefine the Possible.”


Watch the profile videos for Paul & Mark Jones
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The One to Watch

For remarkable professional and community accomplishments early in his or her career.

Gretel Reid-Willis (BA/BEd ’01) is an innovative teacher whose methods and enthusiasm have energized her colleagues, her students and their parents.

In the classroom, Gretel works hard to dispel the intimidating nature of math and explain why it is so essential for all of us. She has helped many young students, particularly girls, discover the pleasures and power of math through language, drama, visual arts and real-world investigations. She makes learning a family affair with innovative outreach programs for parents and students
together, and she encourages her students to reach their highest potential.

In 2007, Gretel was honoured with the Premier’s Award for Excellence in Teaching Literacy and Numeracy, just six years after graduating from York’s Faculty of Education. With these early successes, she’s poised to have a remarkable impact on thousands of young people, helping them to unlock their potential and transform their lives. She is definitely one to watch.


Watch the profile video for Gretel Reid-Willis
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Bryden Awards History

These awards are inspired by Bruce Bryden (BA ’64), who was an exceptionally committed and influential leader at York. He was a member of our first undergrad class and held several prestigious positions, including founding president of the York University Alumni Association and member of the Board of Governors. It is for his vision and exemplary leadership that we named these awards after him.