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Convocation ceremonies celebrate 1,956 Loyalist College graduates

Chair of the Loyalist Board Stuart Wright, of Prince Edward County, officially opened Convocation Thursday morning. He asked graduates to show their appreciation to families, friends and staff who supported their efforts.

Jayson Myers, President and CEO of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Association, told graduates demographic trends will be one of the most important factors affecting their careers.

Loyalist College graduates are being celebrated by family, friends, peers and professors at the 45th Annual Convocation ceremonies Thursday and Friday in Belleville. Over the two days 1,956 students will be congratulated for completing their studies.

Thursday morning, 530 students were honoured for earning diplomas and certificates from the schools of  Architecture and Building Sciences; Skills Training and Health Sciences.

Chair of the Loyalist Board Stuart Wright, of Prince Edward County, officially opened Convocation Thursday morning, welcoming graduates, their families and friends, as well as guest speaker, Jayson Myers.

Myers, President and CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters – Canada’s largest industry and trade association. Myers is a well-known economic commentator and is widely published in the fields of Canadian and international economics, technological and industrial change.

“You graduate today with extraordinary opportunities ahead,” Myers said. “Demographic trends will be one of the most important factors affecting your careers. A retiring baby boomer generation means that there will be strong demand for people with the practical and applied skills that you have. Your skills will be in demand. That’s the good news.
“But, you will also be challenged by the expectations of seniors. It will be up to you to generate the taxes and investment revenues that we will require for our retirement incomes, our health care, and for our social services. We will rely on you to increase economic productivity at an unprecedented rate in order to sustain the living standards that we as Canadians enjoy and expect.

“There are also the challenges of how we respond to the intense competitive pressures the Canadian economy and Canadian businesses are facing from China and other countries.  How do we remain current with the accelerating pace of technological change?

“We know that we have much to do to ensure environmentally sustainable economic growth and to improve environmental conditions.  The development and more efficient use of new sources of energy will be vital. These challenges will call for practical and innovative solutions.  For these, we will rely on you.

Myers said jobs are changing rapidly and that organizations, businesses, governments are reshaping themselves.
“So, don’t look for a job. Look for a career. Follow your interests.  Continue to learn. Make it a personal quest. Make it a lifelong adventure. Above all, have fun. The skills you have developed here at Loyalist will serve you well. Now it’s up to you.”

Thursday afternoon, students graduating from Loyalist’s Centre for Justice Studies and its School of Business and Management Studies were honoured.

Guest Speaker was journalist Rob McQueen, one of Canada’s best-known and respected authors. McQueen has won the National Business Book Award for Who Killed Confederation Life? and the Canadian Authors Association award in history for the best-seller, The Eatons, The Rise and Fall of Canada’s Royal Family.

McQueen shared his top secrets of life for graduates: “Do what you enjoy and enjoy what you do. Without a passion for something … you’ll achieve nothing. I write books; I’ve written more than a dozen books in the last thirty years. So I’m passionate about writing. If you asked me, ‘If you could do anything you want tomorrow, what would it be?’ I’d reply, ‘I’d like to spend the day writing.’ I try to write 500 words a day. If you do that every day for a year; you’ll have more than enough words for a book.

Full-time jobs are hard to come by. So why not start your own business? Be your own boss. All you have to do is believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? What sort of business could you start? Well, what are you good at? Maybe someone is willing to pay for what you can do, what you can make, the great invention or new idea you have. Canada desperately needs more entrepreneurs. Just remember: If you can dream it, you can do it.”

Friday morning will be convocation for the schools of Biosciences and Human Studies.

The Hugh P. O’Neil Outstanding Alumni Award was presented to Cindy Brandt of Stirling for her exceptional contribution to her community through leadership and volunteer service. A 1987 graduate of the Nursing program, Cindy is Administrator of the Caressant Care Retirement and Nursing Home in Marmora. Recently, she chaired the Stirling-Rawdon Hockeyville Committee, overseeing the community’s submission to the Kraft Hockeyville program. “As a result of Cindy’s leadership, as well as the hard work of community members, Stirling-Rawdon topped more than 300 communities from across Canada to win the coveted title of Kraft Hockeyville 2012,” said President Maureen Piercy. Hugh P. O’Neil presented the award, which was named after him in 1998 by the Board of Governors, in honour of his leadership as chair of the College’s ‘Foundations for the New Millennium’ Campaign.

Guest Speaker is to be Susan McIssac, President and CEO of United Way Toronto, a renowned leader with more than two decades of experience in the non-profit sector. McIssac is a key architect of the organization’s strategic transformation, from trusted fundraiser to a community mobilizer and catalyst for change.

In the afternoon, the schools of Media Studies and Continuing Education graduates will receive their diplomas.
Guest Speaker is to be Ken Murphy, President of High Fidelity HDTV Inc. Murphy has 25 years of industry experience with some of Canada’s best-known broadcasters. A television production and broadcasting innovator, Murphy has been on the forefront of the transition to High-Definition for close to a decade.
He is a Loyalist College graduate of the Television Broadcasting program, 1979.

Academic awards were presented Thursday to the following County students:
Shannon Hannah, of Ameliasburgh, received the The Amanda Latham Award and the Registered Practical Nurses Association of Ontario Award.
Kyle Scanlon, of Picton, received the Police Foundations Faculty Award.
Amanda Keys, of Picton, received the Pearson Professionalism Award.

On Friday, the following students are to be honoured:
Kevin Low will receive the Environmental Technician Indsale Award.
Mackenzie Struthers will receive the Community Living Prince Edward Award.
Miranda Camp will receive the Quinte Early Childhood Education Award.
Kerry Lynn Aulthouse is to receive the Faculty Union of Loyalist College Award.
Nicole Kleinsteuber will receive the Orland French Investigative Journalism Award.

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