Feature / Summer 2009
Reaching Higher

The Gordon Cressy Awards recognize new graduates who have made outstanding contributions to U of T. For these past winners, helping others has become a way of life


Since 1994, more than 2,000 students have received Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Awards from the University of Toronto. Gordon Cressy (MSW 1969), the former U of T vice-president who inspired the awards, has a public service record stretching back 45 years to when, fresh out of high school, he travelled to Trinidad to volunteer with the YMCA. Recently, Cressy returned to Trinidad and Tobago, where he and his wife, Joanne, are serving as project managers for the construction of the first YMCA in Tobago.

Reached there, Cressy says he’s thrilled that so many U of T grads, including the 15 Cressy Award winners interviewed here, have dedicated themselves to community and volunteer work. “This is not about a plaque on the wall, but getting out there and doing,” he says. “This is a call to action.”


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