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Concordia wins 3 silver and 2 bronze at national competition

Awards from Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education laud top achievements
June 14, 2022

A photo montage of Concordia students, alumni and professor

The work of Concordia University staff was recognized with three silver and two bronze Prix d’Excellence awards from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education (CCAE).

Celebrated at June 1 and 2 ceremonies, the annual CCAE awards honour achievements in higher education across Canada.

Concordia was distinguished in a number of categories, including Best Development Event, Best Fundraising Initiative, Best Use of Social Media, Best Annual Giving Initiative and Best New Idea: Creativity on a Shoestring.

“I take great pride that the efforts of Concordia staff were recognized with five national prizes for projects that fostered engagement, creativity, diversity, donor stewardship and our community,” says Sylvain-Jacques Desjardins, BA 97, director of Advancement Communications.

“These awards spotlight the achievements of our strong, cross-functional teams. My sincere thanks to everyone who raised the bar for our next-gen university.”

Best development event: A celebration of George Lengvari's gifts to his two alma maters

Silver award

With just two weeks’ notice during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, staff at Concordia University and McGill University organized an in-person and virtual gift announcement in honour of longtime supporter George Lengvari, BA 63.

Lengvari, a former star player at both universities, was supporting varsity basketball through a $2-million gift — $1 million to the Campaign for Concordia: Next-Gen Now and $1 million to Made by McGill: the Campaign for Our Third Century.

Event planning, communications, stewardship and execution were produced by staff from both universities. Materials included a news story and a tribute video.

Best fundraising initiative: Nadia Chaudhri Wingspan Award

Silver award

The Nadia Chaudhri Wingspan Award was created in 2021 by the late Nadia Chaudhri, a Concordia professor and neuroscientist.

After making her diagnosis of terminal ovarian cancer public via social media in 2020, Chaudhri raised awareness — and record funds — to support the next generation of neuroscientists at Concordia among her 150,000 Twitter followers.

Members of Concordia’s Department of Psychology, University Advancement and University Communications Services supported Chaudhri by promoting her cause to media, amplifying her crowdsourcing platform, producing editorial content and a viral video to inform the public.

The Nadia Chaudhri Wingspan Award has, to date, raised $870,000 from nearly 9,000 donors in 60 countries. Its first recipients were named this spring.

Best use of social media: 2021 Black History Month social media campaign

Silver award

In February 2021, University Advancement spotlighted 11 Black Concordians in 20 original social media pieces to celebrate ingenuity and creative expression as part of Black History Month.

Materials included video messages, a news story, a commissioned poem “This Poem is for Black Folk” by student Kathleen Charles, a photography collection exploring the murals of Little Burgundy and illustrated portraits by Alina Gutierrez, BFA 09, MA 16.

Best annual giving initiative: Engaging Concordia’s former student athletes through Giving Tuesday

Bronze award

University Advancement, in collaboration with coaches from the Department of Recreation and Athletics, leveraged the global movement of Giving Tuesday to reach 9,500 former Stingers and donors who support athletics at the university.

Thanks to former athletes’ strong affinity for their teams, $231,527 was raised by 537 unique donors out of a $385,000 total raised for Giving Tuesday by Concordians.

Best new idea, creativity on a shoestring: Gina Cody School Day

Bronze award

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, the university launched the inaugural Gina Cody School Day to build engagement, affinity and showcase achievements among students, alumni, faculty and staff of the Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science.

Held on March 18, 2021, the first Gina Cody School Day generated extraordinary results. The #GinaCodySchool hashtag trended nationally, some 300 people attended virtual events and multimedia content garnered more than 24,000 views.

Highlights included a talk by Charlie Kawwas, BEng 93, MASc 99, PhD 07, chief operating officer at Broadcom, a showcase of student research and a Q&A with the school’s namesake, Gina Cody, MEng 81, PhD 89, and Mourad Debbabi, dean of the Gina Cody School.


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