College of the Rockies President and CEO, David Walls, presided over the College’s 40th convocation ceremony on Friday, May 27.
In his address, Walls encouraged graduates to enjoy the day’s celebration with family and friends and to be proud of the credential they had earned. He then reminded him that success requires innovative thought and encouraged them all to remain intellectually curious and to seek out new innovations in their future careers.
Guest speaker Kathryn Teneese – Ktunaxa Nation Council Chair, Chief Negotiator for ongoing treaty negotiations and former College of the Rockies student – spoke about the importance of education in creating change and in bringing us all together. She challenged the graduates to read the Truth and Reconciliation Committee’s calls-to-action and to take positive steps to encourage healing between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.
Student representative Tony Fisher relayed his experience at the College as a mature, international student, describing his decision to come to College of the Rockies to continue his education as “the smartest thing I’ve ever done – well, apart from marrying my wife.”
The ceremony began with the presentation of academic medals. The Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal, awarded to a student who has exceled in a vocational or career program and who contributed in a positive way to life at the College, was awarded to Miguela Minto. Miguela completed the Adventure Tourism Business Operations certificate at the College’s Golden campus. She plans to return to the College in the fall to complete her diploma.
Kelsey Hyggen was the recipient of two academic awards: the Governor General’s Bronze Medal and the President’s Award of Excellence.
The Governor General’s Bronze Medal is considered to be the greatest honour that can be bestowed upon a graduate of a two-year program. It is awarded to the student who has achieved the highest academic standing upon graduating from a two-year diploma or associate degree program. The President’s Award of Excellence is made possible through donations from College staff, faculty and management and is presented to a first- or second-year student, planning to complete a four-year degree at the College or elsewhere, who has achieved the highest cumulative grade-point-average.
Kelsey completed the Business Administration Accounting diploma and plans to return to the College to complete the Bachelor of Business Administration: Sustainable Business Practices program before eventually pursuing her Chartered Professional Accountant designation.
“It was a great thrill to recognize, along with our Board Chair Wilda Schab, these two worthy recipients,” says Walls. “I am proud of each and every one of our graduates and of the terrific team we have in place at the College that played a part in each of their success stories.”
College of the Rockies awarded close to 500 credentials to students throughout 2015/16 academic year. One hundred twenty seven graduates were able to attend Friday’s ceremony.
Photographs of the graduation ceremony can be found on the College’s Facebook page: facebook.com/COTR1.