“You name it, I’ve done it…I’ve had a good life,” —Audrey Hozack (1920–2016)
Venus Wang was this year’s winner of the Audrey Hozack Award, named in honour of a legendary 39-year employee and Assistant Warden of Hart House who passed away in February 2016. Hozack believed that Hart House gave students “a taste of a different kind of life—a cultured life.” Through the generosity of a group of donors, one outstanding student leader receives the award each year along with $1,000.
Interview with Award-winner, Venus Wang
Hart House: Venus, what does it feel like to win the annual Audrey Hozack award?
Venus: I’m incredibly grateful and humbled to be the recipient of an award named after a person who embodies so perfectly the spirit of Hart House: Audrey Hozack is remembered for her dedication and hard work, but also for her friendship and mentorship to both students and the community. My year as Chair of the Debates & Dialogue Committee has been challenging in the best sense. I have grown as a student and a person, and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to do so and to receive recognition for it. This award truly goes to all the Committee executives who have not only shaped the vision we brought to U of T this year but helped in every step of the way to make it possible.
HH: This award is in memory of Audrey Hozack and her legacy. Have you thought yet about how you’d like to be remembered one day for your contributions to Hart House?
V: I hadn’t really thought about it – I can only hope that the values I have tried to nurture this year in the Committee are carried forward and built upon with over time: diversity, inclusivity, and an unparalleled commitment to bringing well-run and thoughtful events.
HH: What are your plans for the next couple of years? Will you remain active in the committee?
V: I’m planning on working for a year or two and then hopefully going to law school. I will absolutely be involved in the Committee in an advisory capacity and in Hart House broadly speaking as well.
HH: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
V: Words really fail me here, but my deepest thanks for my staff advisor, Marco, who has been through it all with me; Danielle, who challenged me to expand my commitment to my community; my Committee execs, without whom the successes of this year would be impossible; and John, the warden, for his invaluable and continued guidance and support. Finally, my very best wishes to my friend and colleague Hui Wen, who is Chair next year and who will, without a doubt, lead with poise and intelligence to take the Committee to new heights.