NC grads face a bright future: speakers

Pictured above: James Knight, president and CEO of the ACCC, was the guest speaker at June 19th’s morning convocation ceremony.


Niagara College graduates are facing a future filled with opportunity, according to the inspired messages delivered by speakers at today’s Spring Convocation ceremonies at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.

Association of Canadian Community Colleges president and CEO James Knight, and Hamilton police chief Glenn De Caire addressed the graduates at today’s ceremonies. Knight was the recipient of an Honorary Degree in Applied Studies, while De Caire received an Honorary Diploma in Policing and Security.

At the morning ceremony, Knight told graduates from the School of Community and Health Studies that they face a bright future, as Canada’s economic recovery, combined with an aging population, will create a need for skilled and knowledgeable workers.

He referred to recent provincial survey results that show Niagara College’s high graduate employment rates, and the high levels of satisfaction among employers who hire NC grads.

“That is the college value,” he said. “College graduates get jobs. I congratulate you in choosing college for your postsecondary education, and in particular, for choosing Niagara College.”

Knight also told graduates that rapid technological change will create opportunities for them, urging the grads to keep pace with new innovations and continue to acquire new skills.

“More than any other generation, you will be challenged to keep abreast of technological innovation,” he said. “Lifelong learning is no longer a convenient phrase, it’s an economic imperative.”

Another highlight of the morning ceremony included the presentation of the Governor General’s Academic Medal to Elizabeth Maingot, NC’s top grad, who graduated from the Educational Assistant – Special Needs Support program with a 97 percent academic average. A mother of two and active community volunteer, Maingot returned to school in 2011 after her children reached their teens.

The afternoon ceremony saw graduates from the Schools of Community Services and Policing and Security Studies cross the convocation stage.

De Caire told the aspiring police and customs officers, community justice workers, recreation therapists and security professionals that they had a bright future ahead of them, and that they would do important work in their communities.

“You must believe in making the world a better place,” he said. “And you will.”

To the Police Foundations graduates, De Caire said police services like the one he leads are seeking well-trained recruits who can act as role models and make the “right” decisions.

“We need people like you who can make the right decisions at the right time and for the right reasons,” he said. “Be ethical, be committed and trust your values, trust your training and, most of all, trust yourself.”

More than 3,000 students will graduate during Niagara College’s Spring Convocation Ceremonies this week. The ceremonies run from June 19 to 22 at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. each day. All ceremonies take place at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls. 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




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Gord Hunchak

Director, Marketing & Communications

905 735-2211 ext. 7567

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