Distinguished alumni return for day two of Spring Convocation Ceremonies

dave maciulis

Dave Maciulis principal of Natural Landscape Group and publisher/editor-in-chief of Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine receives a Distinguished Alumni Award from Niagara College president Dan Patterson.

Two prominent members of Niagara College’s alumni community returned to their alma mater on June 17 to pass on words of advice to the Class of 2015.

On day two of its 2015 Spring Convocation Ceremonies Niagara College welcomed Dave Maciulis principal of Natural Landscape Group and publisher/editor-in-chief of Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine; and Bob McNeil president and general manager of modular construction company NRB Inc. Maciulis and McNeil were convocation speakers and were presented with Distinguished Alumni awards – at the afternoon and morning ceremonies respectively.

“Not long ago I sat where you are now” said Maciulis who graduated from the College’s Horticulture Technician program in 1991 as he addressed more than 500 new graduates from the College’s School of Media Studies and School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies. “Of course you are going to live your own dream and I have faith in you.”

Bob McNeil

Bob McNeil president and general manager of modular construction company NRB Inc. addresses the crowd at the June 17 morning ceremony.

Maciulis had several nuggets of wisdom to pass on to the new graduates. He stressed the importance of hard work not sweating the “small stuff” and finding balance in their lives; and advised them to always be kind and have integrity. “Your words and actions matter” he said. “Every day is an opportunity to be the best version of yourself.”

McNeil who graduated from the College’s Construction Engineering Technology program in 1980 spoke to 330 students from the School of Technology Studies and School of Trades. He encouraged the new graduates to be ‘all stars” in the workforce – those who have a “yes we can” attitude a passion for what they do are engaged in their career and have a genuine interest in succeeding.

“To me it doesn’t matter where you are on the organizational chart all-stars can be found everywhere you look” he said.

Reflecting on those who had strong influences on his career McNeil noted they all shared a deep engagement in their careers with unwavering passion and integrity. “First and foremost you need to be engaged in your career to realize your full potential which in itself can be both rewarding and fulfilling personally and professionally” he said.

He also spoke about the importance remaining hungry for knowledge and keeping current on industry developments. “Remember learning like many things is a journey not a destination” he said.

More than 3700 students will graduate this week during the college’s Spring Convocation Ceremonies. Held at the College’s Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus the ceremonies kicked off on June 16 with Janet St. Amand chief executive officer of YMCA Niagara (June 16 10 a.m.) and Debi Pratt wine industry leader and public relations specialist (June 16 3 p.m.). Ceremonies will continue until Friday June 19 with a roster of distinguished speakers including:  Chris Sinclair vice president and co-founder Brand Blvd. Inc. (June 18 10 a.m.); Andrew Miele director of development Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts (June 18 3 p.m.); Supt. Rose DiMarco director of operations Ontario Provincial Police Central Region (June 19 10 a.m.); and Dr. Valerie Jaeger medical officer of health Niagara Region Public Health (June 19 3 p.m.).

The College’s convocation ceremonies are streamed live at:


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. For more information visit NiagaraCollege.ca.




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