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The 2021 York U Alumni Awards celebrate the impact of alumni

The 2021 York U Alumni Awards celebrate the impact of alumni

Alumni, students, staff and friends came together virtually on Nov. 18, 2021, for The York U Alumni Awards, an evening of entertainment, networking and celebration honouring the outstanding accomplishments of our alumni award recipients.

“These award ceremonies have touched me to the bottom of my heart,” said York University Chancellor, Gregory Sorbara (BA ’78, LLB ’81). “One of the things we lost [during the pandemic] was the ability to come together, break bread and celebrate the achievements of four very special alumni. We’ve done that every year and it was always a highlight of the academic year for me as chancellor. Tonight, we’ve recaptured that in a terrific evening.”

The evening was hosted by alumnus Shahir Massoud (BBA '06), author, chef and television personality, and recent Glendon graduate Moboluwajidide ‘Bo’ Joseph (BA ’21), recipient of the Robert J. Tiffin Student Leadership Award and Robert Everett Exceptional Leadership in Student Governance Award. Together, they showed the audience that even though aspects of the university may change, it’s still the same York University family committed to creating positive change and building a better future.

One of the University’s premier accolades, the York U Alumni Awards aim to celebrate York’s remarkable alumni and was first established to honour alumnus Bruce Bryden – the founding President of the York University Alumni Association.

Honoured at this year’s awards ceremony were Dr. Earle Nestmann (MSc ’71, PhD ’74) with the Outstanding Contribution award; Christopher House, C.M. (BFA ’79), with the Outstanding Achievement award; Dr. Pamela Ohashi (BSc Hons ’82) with the Tentanda Via award; and Weyni Mengesha (BFA ’05) with the One to Watch award.

Dr. Earle Nestmann

“I’m humbled and honoured, and…  completely surprised and delighted by this recognition. Thank you,” said Dr. Earle Nestmann (MSc ’71, PhD ’74), recipient of the Outstanding Contribution award. “I became involved with the Board of the York U Alumni Association and subsequently the Board of Governors. I had the privilege to work alongside many dedicated volunteers too numerous to mention. Serving on these boards and providing support for students have been important ways for me to give back to the university.”

The Awards show opened to music by the York U Gospel Choir and included an appearance by Toronto-based comedian and York alumna Hoodo Hersi (BA ’14, BEd ’15), as well as a Vanier College Productions student performance of “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman. The evening closed with a beautiful performance by York U graduate student and four-time Juno nominee, Sarah Slean.

To watch the full event recording on YouTube, click here.

A special thank you to our premier sponsor TD Insurance and our recipient video sponsor Manulife for helping us recognize these outstanding alumni.