UC’s Bright Lights Shine at Alumni of Influence Awards

Two hundred and fifty members of the University College community gathered for the sixth annual UC Alumni of Influence Awards last night at The Carlu in Toronto. Launched in 2012, the awards recognize distinguished University College alumni who are leaders in their fields and communities.

In his welcome, UC Principal Donald Ainslie lauded the honourees for their “contributions to most every cause and field imaginable: from health, human rights, the environment, politics, and business, to literature, the arts, and entertainment.”

Seated among the recipients were 55 current students whose tickets were sponsored by alumni and friends of the College. Master of ceremonies Naomi Handley, Director of Advancement at UC, said the event “signals to our current students the tremendous heights one can reach when armed with a University College education.”

Guests enjoyed a three-course meal and were entertained by student musicians from the University of Toronto Faculty of Music. The evening kicked off with a 1920s themed dance performance, followed by the dinner service and awards presentation. Assisting with the latter were students Albert Hoang and Victoria Kourtis, President and Vice-President, respectively, of the UC Literary and Athletic Society 2017-18.

“It’s a great honour to be a part of this group of alumni, whose contributions are both wide and deep. Hopefully our stories will inspire graduating classes in years to come,” said honouree Diana Bennett (BA 1965 UC), who was recognized for her contributions to the arts. 

Principal Ainslie remarked that the UC community is “linked by our shared values of openness, excellence, and service… and by our home, the magnificent University College building,” before inviting guests to the forthcoming launch of the UC Revitalization project on December 7.

The Revitalization project, slated to begin in early 2018, will renew the historic University College building for generations of students to come, through improvements to accessibility, student spaces, and teaching and learning technologies.