For all the nominees, sustainability is more than just a footnote in their work: they live, work and breathe it. And I always fear sounding too cheesy but I can't help but say that EVERYONE deserved to win this year. Each person has gone above and beyond in their field - and sometimes outside of their field - to help make the world a little better and brighter for those living and future generations. And it's only the tip of the iceberg! The greatest asset of these awards is also one of it's greatest flaws (in my own opinion) - all nominees are legitimately NOMINATED by people, there is no self-nomination or list compiled by the office, so every person or club on stage was there because someone had recognized the work they were doing and told us they deserved it. For the winners and nominees in each category, it can be extremely moving to know that someone (nominators are anonymous) took the time to fill out an application and tell us what makes you 'worthy' of an award. That being said, there are obvious gaps where faculties, clubs, or student leaders may not be recognized because someone didn't take the time to fill out the application or, more often than not, simply didn't know about the awards and didn't realize that their nominations actually matter. Hopefully as the years go by more and more people will be nominated for awards and will have the opportunity to be recognized by the institution, in a formal way, for the effort that they put into their projects, because there is SO much amazing work being done by more people than could probably have fit into that room.
Congratulations to all the winners and I'm so proud that I study and work next to some of the brightest people in this generation!