Niagara College celebrates fall convocation

Convocation speaker Adin Bradley chief operating officer of CareFirst Animal Hospital Group (right) is presented  with a Distinguished Alumni Award at the College’s morning convocation ceremony on Oct. 24 2014.

Before moving on to the world of work or embarking on the next phase of their educational pathway Niagara College graduates heard inspiring stories and received valuable advice during today’s Fall Convocation Ceremonies.

More than 1800 graduates received diplomas and certificates during ceremonies held at the Welland Campus.

Niagara College also honoured two exceptional individuals during the ceremonies including Niagara College graduate Adin Bradley and Dr. Peter Fritz a local periodontist.

Bradley is a double Niagara College graduate (General Arts ’96 and Business Administration – Human Resource Management ’98) who has found success as an executive in the United States. Bradley who has progressed through a series of senior-level positions primarily in the health care industry and now serves as chief operating officer of CareFirst Animal Hospital Group in North Carolina received Niagara College’s Distinguished Alumni Award before delivering the morning’s convocation address. He used a team analogy to describe his approach to business and described successful people as those who understand that everyone has a role to play and who work together with others toward a common goal. He’s also careful to refer to himself a member of a team.

“Unless your name is Bruce Springsteen” he said “don’t call yourself the boss.”

Bradley’s parting advice to the graduates was to be ambitious. “Your potential is limitless” he said. “Seize every opportunity in front of you.”

At the afternoon ceremony Dr. Fritz who operates a periodontist practice in Fonthill was honoured with the Niagara Award which recognizes individuals whose contribution to life in the Niagara region is exceptional. Dr. Fritz who lectures extensively in Europe and North America has developed several continuing education programs for dental professionals and is a key supporter of Niagara College’s dental programs – providing opportunities for students through his practice and serving on the programs’ advisory committee.

Fritz’s call to action for the new graduates was to never stop learning because the world around them will never stop teaching.  A canoeing enthusiast he noted similarities between the sport and navigating through professional careers.

“The canoe trip of life can never be just an effortless route down a quite safe stream. Nature has it planned that there will always be obstacles” he said. “There will be switchbacks and unexpected portages.  Sometimes the wind will be against you. Sometimes the river will be high and sometimes low. The weather will change suddenly. The river will unexpectedly divide into many channels. And you alone are left to deal with this.”

His advice to the new graduates:  “Stay calm use your powers of observation to assess the situation and soldier on safely and confidently using the compass you learned to read at Niagara College. May your paddle be strong and your river be calm for this exciting learning adventure ahead of you.”

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland Niagara-on-the-Lake and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences advanced technology media applied health and community safety supported by unique learning enterprises in food wine beer horticulture and esthetics.

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