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Bryden Awards

2012 Bryden Award Winners

A series of awards presented each year to grads who have attained extraordinary achievements and made remarkable contributions to York and to their communities.

Pinnacle Achievement Kathleen Taylor
Outstanding Contribution John S. Hunkin
Local Hero Marc Wilchesky
Redefine the Possible Nina Arsenault
The One-to-Watch Chris Penrose

 



Past Recipients

2011 Photo Gallery

Kathleen Taylor

Pinnacle Achievement

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

Kathleen Taylor (JD/MBA ’84)
President and Chief Executive Officer, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

Recently named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women, Four Seasons President and CEO Kathleen Taylor is one of the country’s foremost business leaders. Kathleen’s impressive rise from corporate counsel to head of one of the best-known luxury hospitality companies in the world exemplifies the benefits of her Osgoode-Schulich joint JD/MBA. The first CEO after the company’s founder, Kathleen has restructured the Executive Leadership Team and created the industry’s first executive level position dedicated entirely to innovation and product development. Kathleen is also an active contributor to her community, volunteering for the Toronto United Way and Hospital for Sick Children Foundation. She is an innovator who is no stranger to firsts: the first CEO of Four Seasons after its founder, the first woman named Corporate Hotelier of the World by HOTELS magazine and the first of her family to attend university. Kathleen embodies the qualities of a true global leader.

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Outstanding Contribution

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

John S. Hunkin (MBA ’69, LLD ’04)
Former Chairman, President and CEO, CIBC

John Hunkin has played a significant role in shaping the modern face of York University. He is a long-time member of the Board of Governors, the Schulich School of Business Dean’s Advisory Council and the York University Foundation Board. One of only a few people ever to serve in all three of these capacities, his decades-long commitment to York—and his involvement with several other organizations including the St. Michael's Hospital Foundation and the Centre for Addition and Mental Health—is remarkable. John’s exceptional leadership and vision have won him universal respect. With his wife, Susan Crocker, John has also contributed generously to student aid, the Faculty of Fine Arts and Schulich School of Business, demonstrating his determination to advance York and its students.

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Local Hero

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

Marc Wilchesky (PhD ’80)
Executive Director, Counselling & Disability Services, York University

A trail blazer, Marc is one of Canada’s foremost experts on supporting students who have learning, mental health, and physical disabilities. Since he joined York in 1985, he has played a pivotal role in the success of literally thousands of students. Beginning as the coordinator of Canada’s first post-secondary learning disability program, and now as the Executive Director of Counselling & Disability Services, his commitment, skills and creativity have helped establish York as the destination of choice for students with disabilities. He created Ontario’s first university transition program for students with disabilities and is collaborating with the Ontario Council of Universities to develop an Education Accessibility Resource Kit for all post-secondary faculty.

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Nina Arsenault

Redefine the Possible

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

Nina Arsenault (BFA ’96, MFA ’00)
Interdisciplinary Artist

Multi-disciplinary artist Nina Arsenault has honestly and unapologetically documented her physical transformation through live performance, photography, film and print. Her life and body have been at the centre of numerous artistic pieces including The Silicone Diaries and I Was Barbie, which played to sold out houses across Canada. Nina is also a frequent speaker on gender, sexuality, the fine arts and the rights and dignity of transpeople. She was recognized for her transformative contribution to Canadian’s understanding of sex and gender by Pride Toronto with the 2007 Unstoppable Award. Through her vulnerable, complex and deeply personal accounts of her own life, Nina is tearing down the walls of our culturally constructed notions of sex and gender.

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The One-to-Watch

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

Chris Penrose (BA ’04)
Executive Director, Success Beyond Limits

Described as a “big-picture thinker with his feet (and heart) on the ground,” Chris Penrose has been working with youth in the Jane-Finch community for over a decade. As the Executive Director of Success Beyond Limits, he has had direct and positive impact on the lives of hundreds of youth in the community, drawing on his own turbulent adolescence to help them achieve higher credit accumulations, better attendance and higher grades than other students in their cohort. A regular invited guest on CBC Metro Morning, Chris has become an important voice in Toronto on violence, policing and community issues as they affect youth. 

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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.