The Mayor’s New Year’s Honour List is purple and proud for 2021, including two Western faculty members and five alumni.
The annual homage recognizes Londoners who have made a significant contribution to their community. Originating in 1976 to recognize contributions to the arts, the Mayor’s New Year’s Honour List has since grown to include 10 different categories of achievement.
Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing professor Abe Oudshoorn was recognized in the housing category for his efforts to ensure Londoners have access to affordable and dignified accommodations. His commitment stems from his work as a public policy and mental health expert for people experiencing homelessness, and his research, which focuses on health equity through housing stability. Oudshoorn, BSc’04, PhD’11, is the past chair of the London Homeless Coalition, a Canada 150 medal recipient, and managing editor of the International Journal on Homelessness.
Don Wright Faculty of Music dean Betty Anne Younker was honoured in the arts category for “providing Londoners with rich artistic fare and enhancing the reputation of the city as a centre of high-level artistic endeavours.” Younker has long immersed herself in the local arts community, serving on the London Arts Council Board and advocating for the equitable treatment of artists. In her role as dean, she has successfully collaborated with many arts organizations, including the Aeolian Performing Arts Centre, The Grand Theatre and London Symphonia.
Alumni honourees include:
Mary Alikakos, BSC’02 (diversity) – for her commitment to education, promoting dialogue, and building a more inclusive London.
Mitch Baran, HBA’59, LLD’11 (distinguished Londoner) – honoured posthumously for his commitment to London, business excellence, and philanthropy.
Sylvia Chodas, BMus’80, BEd’81 (heritage) – for her dedication to ensuring local history and heritage is better understood and more greatly appreciated.
Wayne Dunn, BA’80 (distinguished Londoner) – for his abiding love and enthusiasm for London and spearheading local charity initiatives.
Jeremy McCall, BA’06 (humanitarianism) – for exemplifying the characteristics and traits of a community.
“Anyone in search of inspiration at the start of this new year need look no further than these truly remarkable Londoners,” said Mayor Ed Holder. “Each of these individuals represent the very best of London, and each of them have played significant roles in building an even better London.”
A total of 13 community members made the list, and all will be honoured virtually at the first council meeting of the New Year on Jan. 12.