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Bryden Awards

2013 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 Janice Fukakusa
Outstanding Contribution Guy Burry
Local Hero Dave Smith
Redefine the Possible Carolyn Acker
The One-to-Watch Karen Foss

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Watch 2013 Bryden Alumni Awards Ceremony



Past Recipients

2012 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.

Janice Fukakusa, MBA '79
Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer,
Royal Bank of Canada

For almost 30 years, Janice Fukakusa (MBA '79) has broken down barriers for women in business by making a name for herself in the financial and non-profit sectors. Currently serving as RBC's Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer, she is one of only eight executives responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of RBC. Since joining RBC in 1985, she has held positions in portfolio management, retail and business banking, internal audit, corporate banking, account management, corporate finance, treasury, strategic development and corporate functions. As a chartered professional accountant and business valuator, she was named a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants of Ontario (FCPA). Fukakusa also serves on a number of professional and charitable organizations including Wellspring Cancer Support, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Ryerson University and Schulich School of Business. In 2007, she was inducted into Canada's Most Powerful Women Hall of Fame and in 2013, she was named one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking by American Banker Magazine.

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Outstanding Contribution

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

Guy Burry, BA '82
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, WhiteHat Inc.
Owner, Tenth Power Group

As York's ultimate ambassador for the past 30 years, Guy Burry
(BA '82) has contributed to the University in a multitude of ways − as a tireless volunteer, a passionate fundraiser and as a philanthropist. A driving force behind the Chair's Cup Golf Tournament since its inception, Burry helped the University raise more than $5 million for graduate scholarships. Along with his family, Burry's prolific support over several decades has impacted students and researchers in dozens of programs and areas across the University. As a governor, Burry has made exceptional contributions to the development of the University's vision, applying his diverse educational and professional histories towards the overall betterment of York's post-secondary environment for students, both past and present. He has brought professional expertise and valuable, board-level experience from the financial services, software development, manufacturing, and environmentally compatible technology sectors. Having previously served York's growing alumni community from 2004 to 2012 as Chair of the York University Alumni Association (YUAA), Burry also has a deep understanding of the effect that alumni can have on the University. He currently divides his time among his duties as a member of York's Board of Governors, several corporate boards, his asset-consulting practice, and Chair and CEO of WhiteHat Inc., a Toronto-based IT security and business solutions firm.

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Local Hero

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

Dave Smith, BSc '70, MBA '72
Director, Management Information, York University (Retired)

Dave Smith (BSc '70, MBA '72) has enjoyed a more than 45-year history with York University. As a student, Smith excelled in athletics, competing as a varsity runner and winning five provincial and two national cross country titles. In 1968-69, he was selected as the York Male Athlete of the Year. He was also part of the first group of athletes inducted into the York University Sports Hall of Fame when it was first established in 1980. Upon graduation, Smith remained with the York community. From 1972 to 1984, he volunteered as both the University's cross country coach and head coach of the track and field team. Smith shared his unrivaled passion and competitive spirit with the students while applying his innovative thinking to create the 'York Open', an indoor track meet that has been held for an impressive 42 years. He also co-directed the annual "Corporate Challenge Indoor Track and Field Meet", raising scholarship funds for York students. Contributing to York's growing infrastructure, he served as a member of the committees responsible for obtaining, designing and operating both the Track and Field Centre and the National Tennis Centre at York's Keele Campus. He began his working career at York in 1972 as the Sports Seminars Coordinator and went on to play a leading role as the University's Director of Management Information, where his demonstrated commitment, knowledge and loyalty to York served him well as a representative on a number of university and provincial committees. Smith is now retired and living in Aurora, Ontario with his wife, Donna.

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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"

Carolyn Acker, BAS '87
Founder, Pathways Canada

Carolyn Acker, CM (BAS '87) was the founding CEO of Pathways to Education Canada, a public foundation dedicated to helping youth in low-income communities graduate from high school and successfully transition into post-secondary education. Acker began her professional career in the nursing and health-care industry, working her way up the ranks of executive leadership through an unmatched combination of world-class education, practical experience and, above all, a desire to give back. Acker used the experience she gained from serving Toronto's disadvantaged to drive her entrepreneurial spirit. As a result, Pathways to Education was born out of her passion for helping young people to break the cycle of poverty, continue their education and find success in socially valuable careers. The Pathways to Education program has grown since its founding in 2001, now serving more than 5,000 students and alumni in 13 communities across Canada and helping to successfully decrease high school drop-out rates. Today, Acker is bringing her expertise, passion and decades-long reputation for social improvement to other worthy causes as a management consultant in innovative social impact solutions.

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The One-to-Watch

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

Karen D. Foss, BA '01
Canadian Foreign Service Officer Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

Karen Foss (BA '01), a Canadian Foreign Service Officer, is the Coordinator of International Critical Incidents at the Government of Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. With an undergraduate education in International Studies from York's Glendon Campus and a passion for creating change at a global level, Foss joined the Foreign Service in 2002. Since then, she continues to make her mark on foreign relations and diplomacy in Canada. Overseas, Foss has served as Canada's Deputy Political Director at the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction Team in Afghanistan, Head of Office in Banda Aceh, Indonesia and at the Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. In Ottawa, she has covered files on Fragile States, Security Sector Reform, Civilian Policing, Multilateralism, the Americas, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and North Asia. With what seems to already be a lifetime of accomplishments, Foss has nowhere to go but up.

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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.