July 11, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

Written by Katrina Clarke, Alumni and Development Officer

John Anderson ’77 – 2019 Alumni Award of Distinction Recipient
Founder and CEO, Canada Steel Services Centre

After beginning his career as a labourer in the steel industry, John Anderson, BA ’77 Political Science, took a leap of faith and returned to school at King’s as a mature student, continuing to work throughout his studies to support his growing family. It was a period of significant personal growth for John. Not only did he find himself engrossed in his studies, John also made friendships with many of his professors that continue to this day.

In 1982, John took another leap of faith and started his own steel company at the height of a significant recession. He started with 100 loyal customers who believed in him. Between his knowledge of the industry and commitment to hard work, John built a successful business. Today, Canada Steel Service Centre (CSSC) operates four facilities, is home to over 60 employees, and services more than 4,000 customers.

Through the business and in his personal life, John demonstrates a commitment to the community and to those in need. CSSC was recently recognized by the Make-A-Wish Foundation for 25 years of consecutive giving. In 2018, John established a scholarship at King’s in his father’s name for an international student pursuing a Political Science degree. He is also an active supporter and volunteer with the Michaelite Fathers and the Church’s Marriage Tribunal, as well as several community charities.

“If I could go back and talk to the young man I was at King’s, I would tell myself to be aware that the best times of my life were happening. I would give anything to go back and feel that magic again.”

Read more about John here.


Skylar Franke ’13 – 2019 Young Alumni Award Recipient
Executive Director, London Environmental Network

Skylar Franke, ’13 French and Social Justice & Peace Studies, has always had a passion for social justice and community engagement. It was the desire to find a meaningful and impactful career in this area that drew her to study at King’s. While completing her degree, Skylar developed an interest in environmental issues, becoming involved with initiatives on campus and in the community.

Following her time at King’s, Skylar was hired by ReForest London to engage communities and volunteers in tree planting initiatives. When the opportunity to lead a new organization presented itself in the form of the London Environmental Network (LEN), Skylar took it. She is currently the Executive Director of LEN, a nonprofit network that connects, educates, and supports local organizations in building a more sustainable future.

In everything that she does, Skylar is an advocate for urgent environmental action. “We need to work much faster on environmental sustainability, or face ever-worsening climate change impacts. We need to make drastic changes today.”

Skylar remains connected to King’s as an alumna, crediting it with helping to shape who she is today. “King’s is a big family that supports its students and alumni, encouraging them to become successful human beings, whatever that looks like for the individual.”

Read more about Skylar here.

King’s will celebrate the accomplishments of John and Skylar at the Alumni Brunch, taking place on Saturday, October 19, 2019 at Homecoming. Tickets may be purchased for $20 at www.kings.uwo.ca/homecoming/, or by contacting alumni@kings.uwo.ca.