Lakehead University Orillia Convocation celebrates graduating students

2018 Civitas Award winner Bruce Waite is pictured with Lakehead Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson, Chancellor Lyn McLeod, and Principal Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans

2018 Civitas Award winner Bruce Waite (right) is pictured with Lakehead University Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson, Chancellor Lyn McLeod, and Lakehead Orillia Principal Dr. Dean Jobin-Bevans (standing).

Honorary degree recipient Deborah Martin-Downs is pictured with Chancellor Lyn McLeod and Interim President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson

Honorary Degree recipient, Deborah Martin-Downs (left), is pictured with Lakehead University’s Chancellor Lyn McLeod and Interim President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Moira McPherson before addressing graduates at Lakehead Orillia’s convocation ceremony on Saturday, June 10.

June 9, 2018 – Orillia, ON

This year, 430 students graduated from Lakehead University Orillia, with over 240 proudly walking across the stage in front of family, friends and faculty during the campus’s Convocation ceremonies on June 9 at Rotary Place. 

"Today is about celebrating and acknowledging the efforts of those who have completed one incredible journey and are about to begin another," said Dr. Moira McPherson, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor.

"We hope our graduates look on their time spent in this beautiful community in the heart of the County of Simcoe as a positive experience, learning and living with the amazing students, friends, faculty and staff who have done their best to make this day possible,” she added.

Chancellor Lyn McLeod used her closing remarks to graduates to remind them to maintain an enthusiasm for learning that was forged during their time at Lakehead.

"The world of our graduates is not the world I have lived and worked in — it is a world that they will help to shape," said McLeod. "I am confident that they will be open to new ideas and new approaches, and that they will become aware and engaged participants in their new environments."

Bachelor of Education graduate Sabrina Cuzzupoli also addressed the graduating class as the Voice of Convocation.

“All of us graduating this morning have taken divergent paths to get here,” she told the graduates in her address. “We all graduate today from different faculties, different passions, and different perspectives, though we all leave here as accomplished individuals who have a mission to continue to better a world that is faced with many challenges.”

During Saturday’s ceremony, Lakehead University also bestowed honorary awards on two outstanding individuals for their contribution to the university and community. Deborah Martin-Downs, a respected ecologist and conservationist, received an Honorary Doctor of Science. Lawyer and respected community leader Bruce Waite was presented with the Civitas Award for his incredible support of the Orillia campus.

The university also presented three awards to students during the ceremony.

  • Lloyd Dennis Award for Outstanding Citizenship (Orillia): Kevin Passafiume
  • Dean’s Scholar Awards for Science and Environmental Studies (Sustainability Studies): April Ellen Scholz
  • Dean’s Scholar Awards for Social Sciences and Humanities (Interdisciplinary Studies): Tammy Lyn Jane Rock 

This year, Lakehead University graduated 2,164 students from its Thunder Bay and Orillia campuses.  

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Media contact: Jaclyn BucikMarketing and Communications AssociateLakehead or 705-330-4008, ext. 2014.


Lakehead University has approximately 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. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit