Two Faculty of Law alumni honoured with University of Alberta Alumni Awards

E. Orest Yereniuk and C.H.William Cheung recognized for their service to profession and community

Staff - 24 February 2021

The University of Alberta Faculty of Law congratulates alumni E. Orest Yereniuk, QC, and C.H. William Cheung, recipients of 2020 Alumni Awards, which are being formally bestowed during a virtual celebration on February 24.

Yereniuk, ’75 BA, ’78 LLB, is receiving an Alumni Honour Award for his dedication and service to the profession of law.

Yereniuk has been a Crown prosecutor with Alberta Justice and Solicitor General for four decades and chief prosecutor and executive director of regional prosecutions since 2008.

In addition to promoting the rule of law, securing justice for the vulnerable and showing respect for individual rights, he has also ensured that the future of Alberta’s criminal justice system is in good hands.

Since becoming executive director of regional prosecutions, Yereniuk has helped advance female prosecutors into leadership roles, established new ways to support Crowns in rural centres and introduced training to create top-notch prosecutors and future chief Crowns. When he’s not mentoring and inspiring young lawyers, Yereniuk still rolls up his sleeves as the lead counsel on important cases — reminding those in his charge that he’s sitting with them, not above them.

Cheung, ‘86 LLB, is receiving an Alumni Service Award in recognition of his extraordinary commitment and dedication to the U of A.

Since 2005, the now-retired real estate, immigration and corporate/commercial lawyer served multiple terms on the university’s Alumni Council, its Board of Governors and its Senate, retiring from the latter in June 2020. He also advised a U of A program offering professional development to Chinese university administrators, and for many years helped international students from Hong Kong acclimate to life on campus and in Edmonton.

Within the legal profession, he was for 30 years involved with the Canadian Bar Association in roles ranging from chairperson of the Northern Alberta Immigration Section to member of the International Development Committee. He also volunteered as a member, an arbitrator and director for international trade organizations in Canada and China.

In the community, Cheung volunteered his legal services to more than two dozen cultural organizations. He was a founding member of the Edmonton Chinese Lions in 1980 and helped establish Chinese bilingual instruction in the city’s public schools, now the most extensive program in North America.

While the University of Alberta Alumni Awards ceremony is traditionally hosted during Alumni Weekend in September, due to the pandemic the 2020 Alumni Awards were postponed to February 2021.

Pre-recorded video tributes to E. Orest Yereniuk and C.H.William Cheung are available at Meet the 2020 Recipients and the category Enriching Communities & Improving Society.