Confederation College honours its grads

Twenty smiling students walked across the Townshend Theatre stage last Thursday evening to receive their diplomas and certificates as graduates of Confederation College.
Business student Pamela Advent took home the biggest haul, receiving the Academic Award of Excellence, the Campus Award of Excellence, the President’s Award of Excellence, and the Board of Governors Award for the School of Access and Literacy.
Students from programs including General Arts and Science, Personal Support Worker, Business, Police Foundations, and Pre-Health Sciences had the opportunity to listen to inspiration from various people in the community.
Confederation College president Patricia Lang addressed the students and gave them 10 tips on post-college life.
“Believe in yourself and do not let the fog of fear stop you,” she stressed.
Her other tips included saying thank you, following your dreams, and keeping your life in balance. Lang also urged students to be part of the solution and vote.
“We have two favourite days at Confederation College—one is orientation and the other is convocation,” Lang said shortly before the ceremony. “We enjoy seeing the spirit of the students.
“To see them achieve their dreams at convocation reaffirms why we exist as a community college,” she added.
Rebecca Tolen, a 2002 Confederation College graduate and student union president for two years, is someone who greatly benefited from the local college.
She was on hand for the ceremony to present the Alumni Charge on behalf of the alumni association.
Tolen is an example of what Lang described as a “geographically-bound learner”—people, she said, who likely would not have an opportunity for a post-secondary education unless the education is brought to them.
“I probably wouldn’t have went to school if I couldn’t have come here because I have two young children,” noted Tolen. “And I was immediately hired, before I even graduated.”
Don Lovisa, Academic Director of the School of Access and Literacy and former college manager here, gave some words of inspiration to the students, in the words of Nelson Mandela’s infamous “Long walk to Freedom.”
“I have walked a long road to freedom . . .” said Lovisa over a silent crowd. “I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view at the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back at the distance I have come.”
With each stanza, Lovisa paused and drew parallels between the graduates’ path and the one illustrated by Mandela.
“Take a moment to look back and see how far you have come,” he said. “But then keep going, for your walk has not yet ended.”
Richard Trivers, manager of the Fort Frances campus, was emcee for the convocation.