Lakehead Orillia’s 2016 Convocation celebrates 10 years of achievement

June 4, 2016 – Orillia, ON

During Lakehead University Orillia’s 10th Anniversary year convocation ceremony on June 4, approximately 200 students crossed the stage at Rotary Place and joined the growing number of graduates who have received degrees from the Orillia campus.

Since the campus opened in 2006, over 3,000 degrees have been conferred. Some of the graduates from the campus’s charter class attended Convocation 2016 to be acknowledged and to help celebrate the campus’s milestone year.

“This year’s graduates embody not only their own exceptional growth and success — they embody the exceptional growth and success of our Orillia campus during this, its tenth anniversary year,” said Lakehead University President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson. “Our graduates’ future growth and success will mirror this campus’s promising future.”

In addition to lauding its graduating students, Lakehead’s Orillia Convocation is the annual occasion to confer honorary degrees and special awards to those who have contributed significantly to the University and our community.

During his closing remarks, Lakehead University Chancellor Derek Burney told graduates that they have many opportunities ahead of them as a result of their education.

“The true end to education is to teach people to learn for themselves,” said Dr. Burney. “I hope the knowledge you have gained will inspire you to make our society better.”

Graduates also heard from fellow student, Rebecca Scott, who represented the graduating class as the “Voice of Convocation.” Scott, of Flesherton, Ontario, was a student at the Orillia campus for the past five years and received her Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science and Bachelor of Education degrees at Saturday’s ceremony.

“The time has come to step out of our comfort zone and into the real world,” Scott said during her address to graduands. “It’s time to use our skills and take some risks.”

This year’s Honorary Doctorate, Bonnie Patterson, a leader for postsecondary education.

Honorary degrees symbolize the highest honour that can be conferred upon an individual by the University and are awarded in recognition of scholarly or creative achievements or distinguished public service to the country or region.

Patterson shared her insights with graduands and encouraged them to remember gratitude, relationships, integrity, passion and patience.  “Never, never, never give up,” she said to students, paraphrasing Sir Winston Churchill.

Bonnie Patterson

Honorary Degree recipient, Bonnie Patterson, is congratulated by Lakehead University's Chancellor Derek Burney (r) and President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson, before addressing graduates at Lakehead Orillia's convocation ceremony on Saturday, June 4.

TheCivitas Award, conferred annually to a community member who has made a significant contribution to the University, was awarded to Garfield Dunlop, who, as Member of Provincial Parliament, provided exceptional leadership and support to the University, making him a true anchor of the Orillia campus.

Past Civitas Award winners include Robert Lamb (2015); Bob Bowles (2014); Will McGarvey (2013); Anderson Charters (2012); Paul Weber (2011); former Orillia Mayor, Ron Stevens (2010); Lloyd Dennis (2009); and Sue Mulcahy (2008).

Garfield Dunlop

Following an introduction by Simcoe North MPP Patrick Brown, Garfield Dunlop received the 2016 Lakehead University Civitas Award from Lakehead University Chancellor Derek Burney and President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson at Lakehead Orillia’s convocation ceremony on Saturday, June 4.

Among the graduates receiving their degrees this year was the first cohort of students to receive their Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science – Media Studies degrees.

Student award winners included:

•  The William A. West Scholar Award for Education for highest standing in BEd, Primary/Junior: Somaia Khan

•  Dean’s Medal for highest standing in Sustainability Sciences: Sheena Tolland

•  Dean’s Medal for highest standing in Interdisciplinary Studies (HBASc): Jenny Thomas

•  Dean’s Medal for highest standing in Interdisciplinary Studies (BASc): Robyn Marie Alford


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 Let's Celebrate

In what is becoming a tradition, some of Lakehead Orillia’s 2016 graduates jump for joy following their convocation ceremony on Saturday, June 4.