Explore the award
Status: The 2024 award nomination period is now open.
About the Award
The University of Toronto Student Leadership Award continues U of T’s long-standing tradition of recognizing outstanding student leadership, volunteer service, and commitment to the university. This tradition began with the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award, which ran from 1994 - 2019 and was named in honour of Mr. Gordon Cressy, former Vice-President, Development and University Relations. In naming the award, the University of Toronto Alumni Association (UTAA) recognized Cressy's leadership and volunteer service across various spheres, as well as his term at the university. During the award’s 25-year history, it celebrated the exemplary contributions of more than 4,000 students whose commitment and volunteerism had a lasting impact on their peers and the university.
The University of Toronto Student Leadership Award (UTSLA) continues the spirit of the retired Cressy Award. Recipients of the UTSLA join the distinguished community of past Cressy Award recipients in being honoured for their exemplary leadership and volunteer service to U of T.
Nominate a Student
- This award recognizes students in their final year of study, with a minimum cumulative GPA (CGPA) of 2.70.
- Students may be nominated by staff, faculty or alumni. Note: a student cannot nominate another student.
- All nominees must have at least 1 year of significant volunteer leadership and high-impact service in the year immediately prior to the current nomination period.
- Nomination packages must be approved by the candidate and be received by the divisional Nomination Coordinator no later than Friday, November 17, 2023 at 5 p.m. (E.S.T.)
Expand options below for details on eligibility criteria and nomination process.
Students currently enrolled at the University of Toronto may be nominated for this award. Nominees must meet all of the following eligibility criteria.
- Be nominated by a member of U of T staff, faculty or alumni. The divisional Nomination Coordinator may serve as the Nominator. A student cannot nominate another student.
- Expect to convocate from their current program in June 2024 or November 2024.
- Have not received this award or the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award previously, either as an undergraduate or graduate student.
- Be in good academic standing with a minimum cumulative GPA (CGPA) of 2.70 (B-) at the end of the previous academic session prior to the opening of the current nomination period.
- The Nomination Coordinator must verify the nominee’s CGPA in ACORN prior to approving the nomination, and must check the appropriate box on the form in order to sign-off on the student’s CGPA.
- Exceptions to this academic requirement may be considered only under extraordinary circumstances. Any exceptions must be assessed and granted by the student’s nominating division. DUA-Alumni Relations does not grant exceptions.
- Students who confirm they meet the minimum CGPA of 2.70 (via checking the appropriate box in the nomination form) cannot subsequently apply for an academic exemption should their CGPA not actually meet the minimum threshold when it is verified in ACORN. In these cases, the nomination will automatically become ineligible.
- All nominees must have at least ONE YEAR of U of T volunteer leadership and service in the year immediately prior to the current nomination period.
- Exceptions to this requirement are at the discretion of the division in cases where students were unable to engage in volunteer opportunities due an absence from campus required by an academic program, for example the PEY program, experiential learning abroad, etc. In these cases, the nominating division is encouraged to look broadly at the nominee’s broader volunteerism and leadership when assessing their candidacy
- Leadership and service may be exclusively to a division, or to the university more broadly, or to a combination of both.
- This breadth ensures that students whose university-wide contributions go beyond their divisions are also appropriately recognized.
- Contributions must be in one or more of the following areas and must directly impact the U of T community. The Nominator must clearly demonstrate concrete examples of these in order to clearly convey the impact of the nominee’s leadership and volunteer contributions.
- Actively promoting equity, diversity and inclusivity in student life and within the U of T community broadly;
- Leadership on committees or demonstrated influence on student or university affairs;
- Sustained and/or high-impact volunteer service directly resulting in improved quality of life of students on campus;
- Inspiring and facilitating the personal and/or professional development of others within the U of T community.
- Contributions to the co-curricular experience and to student life more broadly;
- Leadership and/or service directly facilitating the engagement of fellow students in U of T’s extra-curricular activities; and
- A clearly demonstrated commitment to fostering a sense of community at U of T.
- Other points to consider when nominating a candidate
- Leadership and impact in relation to the student’s academic achievement at U of T.
- The value and impact of the student’s contributions, rather than the office or title of positions held.
- Contributions made as part of a paid position are not eligible.
- Only U of T-related volunteer roles will be considered. Volunteer leadership and service outside the University community will be not be considered and should not be included on the nomination form.
The nominator should complete the Nomination Form in conjunction with the nominee.
Each nomination package must consist of the following:
- Section A: Nominee Information, completed by the nominee
- Section B: Nominator and Endorsement, completed by the nominator
- Section D: completed by the Nomination Coordinator once the form has been submitted.
Do not attach resumes or any other supplementary material as these will not be considered.
Nominations may be submitted via whichever division the Nominator feels is most appropriate; however, only one nomination is allowed per nominee.
Each nomination package must be submitted electronically as one single pdf document with no additional attachments. Complete packages must be sent to the relevant Nomination Coordinator; hard copies will not be accepted.
Nomination packages must be approved by the nominee and be received by the Divisional Nomination Coordinator no later than Friday, November 17, 2023 at 5:00 pm (EST). Alumni Relations will not accept nominations directly from nominees or nominators.
Once your application is ready, please send it to your corresponding coordinator below; or follow the instructions listed next to your division.
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