Distinguished Alumni Award Celebration 2023

By Tyndale Communications  /  Friday, December 1, 2023

A group of five diversed Tyndale alumni students smiling

The Tyndale community gathered, in person and online, on November 21, 2023, to witness the 2023 Distinguished Alumni Award presentations.

The Distinguished Alumni Awards honour graduates who have gone on to become Christian leaders of influence, whose lives are marked by intellectual maturity, spiritual vigour and moral integrity, and whose witness faithfully engages the culture with the Gospel.

Five recipients received awards in the following categories:

  • Horizon Award: An alumnus who has made an impact within 10 years of graduation.
  • Community Impact Award: An alumnus who has made an impact in their community.
  • National Impact Award: An alumnus who has made an impact in their nation.

Kevin Kirk, SVP External Relations, welcomed those in attendance to the celebration. He said that 102 Distinguished Alumni Awards had been bestowed since 1965, not including the five that were being awarded on the 22nd. Taking part in the ceremony were Dr. Marjory Kerr, Tyndale’s President and Vice Chancellor, who presented the awards; Dr. Beth Green, Provost and Chief Academic Officer; and Dr. Paul Franks, VP Academic and Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Those gathered in the chapel enthusiastically applauded the five recipients as they took their turn on the dais to receive their award.

“In every recipient’s message today was the sentiment that they never set out to win awards, rather, to ‘just’ serve God in whatever way He called,” stated Kevin Kirk. “This is a wonderful reminder of why we all do what we do.”

This year’s Distinguished Alumni recipients are:

Natasha Daley (BA 2018)

Distinguished Alumnus: Horizon Award (Undergraduate Studies)

Natasha Daley obtained her BA in health and human services with a minor in psychology from Tyndale. Upon graduating from Tyndale, she explored the intersection of law and social work, and became a lawyer. As a woman of God, she believes that part of her life's purpose is to use the law as a vehicle for social change, all for the glory of God.

“I am incredibly honoured and humbled to receive this award,” she says. “When your faith is interwoven with your life, you wear the gospel every day. When others see me, I want them to see Him. This award serves as an encouragement to me that I’m on the right track in doing so!”

Michael Fischhoff (MDiv 2007, MTS 2022, DMin cand.)

Distinguished Alumni: Horizon Award (Seminary & Graduate Studies)

Michael Fischhoff is the cofounder and executive director of Fight4Freedom, a Christian charity fighting against sex trafficking in Canada and around the world. He opened a private psychotherapy practice soon after graduation.

“My wife and I were inspired and grateful by the recognition of this award by Tyndale,” he says. “We have felt it is our life calling to walk with others through the darkness and trials of life, bringing hope and light to tough situations. We are full of gratitude and appreciation for this acknowledgement.”

Felicia Fischhoff (MDiv 2023)

Distinguished Alumni: Horizon Award (Seminary & Graduate Studies)

Felicia Fischhoff graduated with her MDiv in clinical counselling in May 2023. Since cofounding the charitable organization Fight4Freedom with her husband Michael, she has engaged in advocacy for people caught in the web of sex trafficking, and is now using her passion and knowledge of trauma and abuse in her new field as a psychotherapist. 

“I feel very honoured,” Felicia says of their award. “When we started, we just wanted to help one person. We never would have thought what it would have looked like years later. I hope that winning this award means that we can inspire others to not be afraid to tackle the big issues in our society. Even if you can’t tackle the ocean, you can still make a ripple in the ocean and make an impact in some way.”

Lisa Elliott (BRE 1985)

Distinguished Alumnus: Community Impact

Lisa Elliott graduated from Tyndale (OBC) with her BRE in Camping and Christian Education in 1985. Since then, she has become a pastor’s wife, a mother of four, a gifted speaker, a blogger, and an award-winning author of three books: The Ben Ripple: Choosing to Live through Loss with Purpose; Dancing in the Rain: One Family’s Journey through Grief and Loss; and A Ministry Survival Guide: Straight from the Heart.

“The Lord has used this highly unexpected award to remind me that, whether serving faithfully alongside my husband in church ministry or beyond the church walls, I have not laboured in vain or spent my strength for nothing,” she says. … “I consider this award to be His stamp of divine approval.”

Esther Chan (MDiv 2009)

Distinguished Alumnus: National Impact

Esther Chan graduated from Tyndale in 2009 with an MDiv with a major in counselling. She has worked at In Touch Ministries since 2002 as the Mandarin broadcast coordinator. She also reaches out to the Chinese communities with God’s words across Canada by providing audiences with prayer supports, spiritual guidance and Bible knowledge.

“I never expected to receive such an honourable award from Tyndale University,” she says. “I couldn’t believe it was true! I can never earn it with my own effort, and I count it as the most precious gift from God. The award encourages and inspires me to work more faithfully to share the love of God and the words of God to impact my people in Canada as well as overseas.”

Missed the event? Watch the livestream