Lakehead Orillia celebrates 11th Convocation

Graduates ascend the stage to receive degrees during Lakehead Orillia's 11th Convocation ceremony

More than 200 students ascended the stage during Lakehead Orillia’s convocation ceremony Saturday. ​ Photo credit: Mark Wanzel


June 10, 2017 – Orillia, ON

Family, friends, faculty and staff gathered at Rotary Place in Orillia earlier today to celebrate the success of Lakehead University graduating students during the Orillia campus Convocation ceremony. 

Over 400 students received their degrees during the ceremonies presided over by Dr. Brian Stevenson, Lakehead University’s sixth president and vice-chancellor, and Lyn McLeod, the University’s ninth chancellor.  Jessica Dawson, Bachelor of Arts & Sciences and Bachelor of Education, addressed the graduating class as the Voice of Convocation.

“Our graduates can’t help but be changed by the Lakehead University experience,” said Stevenson. “They have all proven that education is the most potent tool we can use to change ourselves, and each of them, in turn, will transform everything around us by going into the world and contributing to communities in their own unique ways.”

Graduates ascending the stage during convocation this year to receive their hoods and diplomas were greeted by McLeod, who was officially installed as the University’s chancellor on June 2, 2017 in Thunder Bay. 

During Chancellor McLeod’s closing remarks, she asked graduates to stay aware and engaged participants in their new environments. 

“Lakehead University has provided our graduates with opportunities to learn and, I trust, with an enthusiasm for learning that will last throughout their lives,” McLeod explained. “While I cannot begin to know the challenges that many of them will face, I know that our graduates will be open to new ideas and new approaches.”

Lakehead University also bestowed honorary awards on two outstanding individuals for their contribution to the University and community.  Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell, a strong voice for social justice and a pioneer in Canadian journalism, received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.  Lakehead alumnus Rob Jamieson was presented with the Civitas Award for his incredible support of the Orillia campus, and his ongoing engagement with the University through the Alumni Association.

“Convocation is not only a time to celebrate what our students have achieved, but the contributions of special members of our community, as well,” said Stevenson.

Student award winners included:

  • President’s Award: David Venneri, Meghan Young, and Samantha Pritchard
  • Lloyd Dennis Award for Outstanding Citizenship (Orillia): Samantha Pritchard
  • Dean Braun Scholar Awards for Health and Behavioural Sciences (Social Work): Justin Dwayne Cholette
  • Dean’s Scholar Awards for Science and Environmental Studies (Sustainability Studies): Hannah Marie Hancock
  • Dean’s Scholar Awards for Social Sciences and Humanities (Interdisciplinary Studies): Leah Katherine Shaw

Lakehead University proudly graduated over 2,100 students in 2017 from its Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses.   

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Lakehead University has about 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. In 2016, for the second consecutive year, Re$earch Infosource ranked Lakehead first among Canada’s undergraduate universities. Visit

A graduand ascends the stage during Lakehead Orillia's 11th convocation ceremony