A series of awards presented each year to grads who have attained extraordinary achievements and made remarkable contributions to York and to their communities.
John Bankes (LLB/MBA '77)
John Bankes has served as a dedicated volunteer and consummate supporter of York for the past quarter-century.
He was first appointed to the Board of Governors as a student member in 1974 and has served continuously since 1985. He is the longest serving member of the acting Board of Governors. Bankes has also served as an executive member of the York University Alumni Association for over 15 years.
In 1995, he served as co-Chair of the national campaign for York and has personally funded a prestigious Governors' Award of Distinction scholarship, in addition to several other bursaries, awards and fundraising initiatives. He is a sessional lecturer at Osgoode Hall Law School and teaches an advanced corporate law seminar to students in their final year of York's joint LLB/MBA Program.
Bankes is the managing director of Artemis Management Group Incorporated and Chair of the Board of Minacs Worldwide. He has a proven international track record for structuring and marketing sophisticated corporate and government financing platforms and is highly respected in the field of mergers and acquisitions.
Seymour Schulich, OC
Seymour Schulich is York's leading philanthropist and one of its most loyal friends. His many contributions have made possible the creation of scholarships, academic Chairs and teaching awards that will benefit the intellectual resource base of this country for decades.
In appreciation of his 1995 gift of $15 million, York's business Faculty was renamed the Schulich School of Business. It is now the largest graduate management school in Canada and one in every three MBAs entering the Ontario work force is a Schulich graduate. Prior to this gift, Schulich had established a scholarship endowment for the Schulich Award for Entrepreneurship—York University.
In his professional life, Schulich is the chairman and CEO of Franco-Nevada Mines Corporation Limited and chairman of Euro-Nevada Mining Corporation Limited. He has over 30 years of experience in the natural resource development industry, having served on the boards of numerous petroleum and mining companies.
Schulich has served on the boards of Mount Sinai Hospital, Junior Achievement of Canada and the World Gold Council. He was appointed to the York University Board of Governors in 1996 and is currently a member of the board's Investment Committee. He is also a recipient of the Order of Canada.
Honourable David Collenette (BA '69)
The first member of Parliament and first federal cabinet minister to graduate from York, David Collenette is well known by his alma mater as a friend and role model for students.
Collenette was first elected in 1974 and subsequently re-elected in 1980, 1993 and 1997. He was appointed transport minister in 1997, where he continued the reorganization of the department, steered the Canada Marine Act through Parliament and began the revitalization of Via Rail.
In 1993, Collenette was appointed the national defence and veteran affairs minister. In this senior position, he oversaw successful Canadian peacekeeping operations in Haiti and the former Yugoslavia, the publication of the 1994 Defence White Paper and set into motion a process to reform and renew the Canadian Armed Forces. In previous parliaments, Collenette served as minister of state (multiculturalism), parliamentary secretary to the president of the Privy Council, government house leader and postmaster general.
Before his 1993 election, Collenette was executive vice-president of Mandrake Management Consultants of Toronto. He has also worked in both the life insurance and plastics industries.
Margot Franssen (BA '79)
As president and partner of The Body Shop Canada, Margot Franssen leads a national retailing team selling skin care, hair care, and cosmetics products that aren't tested on animals and don't exploit communities or the environment. With 121 shops across the country, The Body Shop is recognized for its ethical business practices and its commitment to profits with principles.
Since 1994, The Body Shop Canada worked to help stop violence against women through its national public awareness and fundraising campaigns. Thanks to customer support, The Body Shop has already raised more than $500,000 for violence prevention and recovery programs. In 1995, Franssen was an invited participant to the United Nations (UN) World Conference on Women in Beijing. She presented the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights with more than one million signatures from around the world, calling for all nations to recognize that women's rights are human rights.
In 1991, Franssen was appointed to the York University Board of Governors. She is a member of the University Advancement Committee and served as co-Chair of the recent national campaign for York University, which raised over $108 million for student financial aid.