#BestofYU: Find out York U’s top 10 alumni highlights of 2018

It's no secret that York University alumni accomplish great things! 2018 was filled with wonderful moments and achievements by #YorkU alumni - here are 10 of our favourites—in no particular order!

#10 - York U Alumni Compete on the Sixth Season of The Amazing Race Canada (Heroes Edition)

Photo courtesy of Bell Media

York University alumni from the Schulich School of Business, Joseph Truong (BBA '17) and Akash Sidhu (BBA '17) were selected as contestants to compete in the sixth season of The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition. This dynamic duo met in high school while working at a food bank together and later studied together at York. They graduated together, created their own non-profit and were finalists at the .

Read their full story

#9 - Chef/Owner and York Alumni Patrick Kriss' Restaurant Alo is selected as the Best Restaurant in Canada for the second year in a row

For the second year in a row, Alo was named Best Restaurant in Canada by Canada’s 100 Best. Continuously racking up accolades, alumni Patrick Kriss' (BA '03) restaurant Alo is the must-have hard-to-get reservation in the country.

Read the full story



#8 - York University's Second Student Centre opens

Built by students (many of whom are now alumni) for students – York’s Second Student Centre offers 126,000 sq. ft. of multi-functional, student-focused space. With meeting rooms, group study areas, recreational spaces, club offices, student support services, event spaces, a cafe and multi-faith prayer rooms, the Student Centre will be a hub of student life on campus. It will be a place of communal growth completely student-run and operated.

Learn more about the new student centre


#7 - Author and Alumna Joanne Schwartz and Illustrator Sydney Smith win the 2018 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award

Author Joanne Schwartz (BA ’83) and illustrator Sydney Smith were named as joint winners of the 2018 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award for their book, Town Is By The Sea. As part of The Ready Commitment, this year's $50,000 prize, one of the largest cash prizes in Canadian children’s literature, was increased by TD from $30,000 to help celebrate Canadian literary and provide greater support to children's authors and illustrators. Town Is By The Sea is an illustrated look at one boy's experience of East Coast mining culture.

Read the full story

#6 - In recognition of Black History Month, Pride Month, International Women's Day and International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the Office of Alumni Engagement profiled 18 alumni who have made impactful contributions locally and nationally.


From trailblazers, industry leaders, and CEOs to social advocates and policy specialists, read more about York University alumni advocating for change.

Black History Month
Pride Month
International Day of Persons with Disabilities


#5 - York University at Come From Away

When Canada's treasure, the Tony award winning musical Come From Away, made its triumphant return to Toronto—York University's Office of Alumni Engagement planned a special and rare opportunity for York alumni. Created and written by York University alumni David Hein (BFA ’97) and Irene Sankoff (BA ’99), and produced by Natalie Bartello (BFA ’04), the evening included a performance of the Broadway hit at the Royal Alexandra Theatre followed by a post-show reception at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel attended by some of the show’s stars.


#4 – Seventy-nine-year-old joins York University's Alumni Family

Proving it's never too late to get an education, 79-year-old Osra Lindo graduated with a BA in Gender and Women's Studies. Osra exemplifies the power of lifelong learning and her story was featured on CTV News, Global TV and




#3 - Scholars Hub Speakers Series Expanded to Vaughan Public Libraries

A unique partnership between York University and Markham Public Libraries saw the popular Scholars Hub Speakers Series in Markham expanded to Vaughan Public Libraries. This partnership brings some of York’s top academic minds to Vaughan and invites alumni, students and their families, as well as the general public to engage in meaningful talks and discussions. To date, over 250+ guests have already participated in these unique talks. The series to begin in January 2019, titled "Environmental Changes," will feature talks and expertise from the Faculty of Environmental Studies in celebration of the Faculty's 50th    Anniversary.

Find out more about 2019 dates and lectures

Breakfast Television.

Read the full story here.


#2 - York University at the 2018 Winter Olympics


Alumnae Alana Goulden (BA '05), Equipment Manager for the Canadian Women's Olympic Hockey Team, and athlete Cynthia Appiah (BA '13), proudly represented not only Canada but also York University when they headed to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Read Alana's story here.
Read Cynthia's story here.


#1 - The 18th Annual Bryden Alumni Awards

Bryden Award Recipients (from left): Paul Sanberg (BSc '76), Pernille Ironside (JD '99), Cheryl & Rob McEwen, CM (MBA '78, LLD '05) and Jamil Jivani (BA '10).

On November 20th, over 300 guests gathered at Arcadian Court in Toronto to honour five remarkable York University alumni in four categories at the 18th annual Bryden Alumni Awards. Recipients included: Paul Sanberg (BSc ’76), Cheryl & Rob McEwen, CM (MBA ’78, LLD ’05), Pernille Ironside (JD ’99) and Jamil Jivani (BA ’10).

Read full story here.