The purpose of this award is to recognize young alumni of the University of King’s College who have achieved significant accomplishments via their professions, volunteer work, or other endeavours. All alumni of the university under the age of 35 are eligible to be nominated for this award.
This Alumni Day Weekend, we will be honouring the 2023 and 2020 Alumni Award winners, as we were unable to acknowledge their achievement in person due to the pandemic.
Adrian Lee, BJ(Hons), 2011 is a writer and editor who currently works in The Globe and Mail’s opinion section, producing essays both long and short; he is also the host of The Globe’s podcast about the future of cities, City Space. Prior to his departure for The Globe in 2018, he was the Opinion Editor at Maclean’s Magazine, where he also won a Digital Publishing Award for Best Podcast for the Maclean’s pop-culture podcast and was a finalist in the short online-feature category. More recently, he was named a 2023 Journalism Fellow for the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE); he is also a former juror for the Polaris Music Prize. In the spirit of Isaiah Berlin’s thought exercise of fox-like thinkers, his writing has spanned a great many subjects of interest to him—politics, music, technology, film, sports, historical arcana— and his work has appeared on CBC Radio and Television and in the Canadian Press, Agence France Presse, and the Michener-nominated alt-weekly The Coast.
Hannah Rittner’s, BA(Hons)’11 list of accomplishments, as a playwright just keeps getting longer. Such notable institutions as The Stratford Festival, Nightwood Theatre and NYU’s Musical Theatre Department have developed her work. She was one of eight playwrights chosen from across the country for the prestigious Playwrights Retreat where she began work on a four-act play about Sarah Bernhardt.
In 2016, Hannah launched LACE Productions with her play The Unbelievers. It was the first live production to tackle the torture, the sexual slavery and the sheer ugliness of the Yazidi genocide in northern Iraq by ISIS. Her research and advocacy on behalf of the Yazidi community brought her into the sphere of activist Nadia Murad. Nadia won the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy 2018.
Recently, Hannah’s play Elijah was given top prize in the 2019 Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition. Hannah says, “It’s a really intimate, mystical, magical story about a family and about becoming your own hero.”
While Hannah is proud of all she has done, the Meraki Kudos award has special meaning. “Meraki” is a Greek word used to describe someone “doing something with soul, creativity or love”. Hannah says the award means a lot.
“It’s the only way I know how to be. It feels so wonderful that this award is shaped around that. I got the call on one of the most heartbreaking days of my life. Perhaps the heartbreak I experienced just hours before, allowed me to let the beauty of this recognition sink even deeper. I am so grateful and so moved.”