Douglas College > Student Services > Post-Douglas > Alumni Association > Alumni Awards
To celebrate Douglas College’s 50th Anniversary, the Alumni Association are proud to announce the first Outstanding Young Alumni award. The award recognizes alumni under the age of 35 for their professional success and contributions to the community. The award will honour the caliber of the students that come to Douglas College, and the education, training and inspiration they received here.
This award will be presented at the 50th Anniversary Gala celebration in November 2020.
This Distinguished Alumni award recognizes the quality of our graduates and their contributions to the community. It also represents the calibre of the students that come to Douglas College, and the education, training and inspiration they received here.
This award is presented at graduation each year.
Think you might know the perfect candidate? Contact Andrew Senjack, Senior Alumni Relations Coordinator at email@example.com or 604 777 6171 or Janay Legge, Alumni Relations Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604 777 6502 for more information.
Application deadline for both awards is March 1, 2020.
Zeeshan Hayat receives the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award
Entrepreneur, philanthropist and Douglas alum Zeeshan Hayat believes that every person, regardless of economic or social standing, deserves access to health care. In fact, he has made it his life’s work.
In recognition of his exceptional achievements and contributions to society, Hayat is being presented with the 2019 Douglas College Distinguished Alumni Award.
“Throughout his career, Mr. Hayat has dedicated himself to improving his community through the success of his company and particularly through feeding the homeless in the Downtown Eastside. He is an example of excellence for all of our alumni,” said Andrew Senjack, Senior Alumni Relations Coordinator at Douglas College.
Hayat is the CEO/Co-founder of Prizm Media Inc., a health care technology company that services some of the fastest growing pharmacies, durable medical equipment and health care providers in North America.
Hayat graduated from Douglas College with an Associate of Arts degree in 2001. While a student, he and his partner, Karina – now his wife – launched a website to help people access wellness products online. The venture took off and, instead of pursuing further education as originally intended, the couple decided to focus on their business.
“It was a tough decision,” Hayat said. “I had my acceptance letter from SFU in my hand, but that summer we were seeing success with our business. We said we’d give it three years, and if it didn’t work out, we could always go back to school.”
Eighteen years later, Prizm Media is one of the most trusted health care technology and media companies in the market. It has helped more than 20 million people with chronic health conditions across North America connect with health care partners to get prescription drugs, medical equipment and medical services delivered to them at their point of need.
Hayat also believes in giving back to his community. He mentors MBA students at SFU and speaks to students at Douglas College and UBC about entrepreneurship as a career path. In 2007, he co-established 100 Meals a Week and has personally delivered over 160,000 meals and necessities to homeless people in the Downtown Eastside, and is a member of the St. Paul’s Future Leaders Committee, which supports mental health and addiction programs.
“Giving back has been instilled in me since I was a child,” Hayat said. “If I saw someone in need, I always offered a hand or whatever I could. As I built up the business, I felt it was my duty to do more to help and give back.”
Hayat has received numerous awards for his work: he was the first Pakistani Canadian to receive the Business in Vancouver BC CEO Award and has been listed as one of Vancouver’s Top Forty Under 40, as well as an EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist.
The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes the quality of Douglas College graduates and their contributions to the community. Hayat will be presented with the award today during the ceremony for Commerce and Business graduates.
For those grads who want to start a business or go the entrepreneurial route, Hayat says the most important thing is to not give up.
“Starting a business, being an entrepreneur, is not easy. We started with nothing – we had no experience and no funding. But we worked extremely hard to grow our business. You need a thick skin to succeed. But you also need patience. It takes time to build a business, so be patient.”
Douglas College is the largest degree-granting college in B.C., combining the academic foundations of a university and the employer-ready skills of a college to provide the most relevant and inspiring undergraduate experience in British Columbia.
For more information, visit douglascollege.ca
Nominations are now open for the 2020 Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards. If you know of a special Douglas College Alumnus you’d like to nominate, please fill out the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award Nomination Form or 2020 Outstanding Young Alumni Award Nomination Form and return to the Alumni Association before March 1, 2020.