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Students awarded at annual banquet

Assistant Vice-Provost George Bragues addresses the banquet.

Students, staff, faculty and alumni came to the Seventh Semester Room recently to take part in the 7th Annual University of Guelph-Humber Awards Banquet. These awards recognize the work and achievements of UofGH students, while giving them a chance to meet with one another and some of the awards’ donors during the banquet dinner.

Alice Zheng, 4th-year Justice Studies student, received her program’s Gold Medallion for Leadership Excellence at the banquet. As this year’s president of Alpha Phi Sigma, Justice Studies’ student society, she says it was nice to be recognized for her work.

“Winning this award was really amazing. Being a society president comes with a lot of responsibility and it’s often stressful,” she says. “With every event, no matter how many you’ve done, there’s a lot of last-minute problem solving. To be recognized for that work is really rewarding.”

As her two guests, Alice brought her parents to the banquet, who were proud to see her receive her medallion.

“They were both so happy,” says Alice, adding with a laugh, “but my Dad kept wanting to take pictures — I had to tell him to sit down.”

Along with the many student recipients of awards, the banquet also included the people who make those awards possible. Jonathan Guss is the benefactor behind the annual Guss – Credit Union Bursary, and while Mr. Guss isn’t an alumnus of UofGH, he’s a strong believer in the importance of higher education. When he was retiring from a long career in the credit union system, his colleagues celebrated Mr. Guss by starting a bursary in his name.

“Everyone who has the ability should be able to attend university,” he says, and after talking it over with his colleagues, they decided to create a bursary to promote access for those who were less likely to attend.

For years now, Mr. Guss has been attending the banquet and meeting with the student who receives the bursary.

“Every year, it’s an honour for me to meet the student who has been awarded the bursary. The recipients have been so diverse and every one of them has been deserving. All of them had a burning desire to go to university, figured out how to apply, get accepted and to finance it on their own. If this bursary helped them over the final bump in the road, that’s what it was meant to do,” he says. “The recipients, I hope, are unabashedly proud of themselves.”

Learn more about awards and scholarships at UofGH.