Niagara College Class of 2019 to make history at Spring Convocation

Niagara College press release – Niagara College is preparing to celebrate its largest spring convocation ever – and make history in the process.

More than 5,100 students will graduate from the College this spring, making NC’s Class of 2019 its largest to date, as the College marks its Spring Convocation ceremonies. To be held from June 17-21 at the Welland Campus, the ceremonies will also mark a special milestone for the College with Canada’s first graduates to earn a postsecondary credential in Commercial Cannabis Production (June 20, 10 a.m.) and Artisan Distilling (June 21, 10 a.m.) Both postgraduate certificate programs launched at the College in fall 2018 as the first of their kind in the country.

“All of the students who cross the stage at Convocation are part of Niagara College’s legacy of student success,” said College president Dan Patterson. “Our graduates have the skills to take on industry challenges and become tomorrow’s leaders. Our faculty and staff take great pride in their accomplishments.”

Spring Convocation will include eight ceremonies over five days, all held at the Welland Campus Athletic Centre. Graduates and their guests will hear from a variety of distinguished business and community leaders who will deliver convocation addresses and receive special honours from the College.

Ceremony details:

Monday, June 17

School of Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies – 3 p.m.
Speaker: Keith Segal, owner, president and CEO of International Insurance, will receive an Honorary Diploma in International Studies. Segal is a successful entrepreneur and a long-time supporter of the College, the education sector and international students. In April, Segal and his family announced a donation of more than $1 million for international education at NC, which will support a new International Centre at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Campus. The Segal International Centre at NC’s Welland Campus was also named in recognition of a previous donation.

Tuesday, June 18

School of Community Services – 10 a.m.
Speaker: Kim Plewes is the principal development director of WE. Founded by Craig and Marc Kielburger, the movement and organization helps communities around the world create positive social change. Plewes will receive an Honorary Diploma in Community Studies.

The Governor General’s Academic Medal will be presented to the student with the highest overall grade point average. This year’s recipient will be Emily Stewardson Gregory of St. Catharines, who will graduate from the Child and Youth Care program with a 98.43% GPA.

School of Business and Management Studies – 3 p.m.

Speaker: Richard Taylor is the president of Niagara Casinos, a recognized gaming industry leader who heads one of the largest business operations in Niagara. Taylor will receive an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies.

Wednesday, June 19

School of Justice and Fitness Studies – 10 a.m.
Speaker: Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji is the acting medical officer of health for the Niagara Region whose focus is the public health and emergency services that protect Niagara’s residents and visitors. Dr. Hirji will be granted an Honorary Diploma in Health Studies.

Schools of Academic and Liberal Studies, English Language Studies, and Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies – 3 p.m.

Speaker: Betty-Lou Souter is the CEO of Community Care, St. Catharines and Thorold. She is known as the voice of poverty in Niagara and as an advocate for a healthy and vibrant community. Souter will receive an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies.

Thursday, June 20

Schools of Environmental and Horticultural Studies, and Technology Studies – 10 a.m.

Speaker: Carolyne Watts is the plant manager for General Motors, St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, and a former chair of the Niagara College Board of Governors. Watts has been committed to environmental preservation, safety awareness and community outreach over her nearly 40-year career with GM. She will receive an Honorary Bachelor Degree in Applied Studies.

The School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies will see the first cohort of Commercial Cannabis Production graduates cross the stage. The first of its kind in Canada, the program launched in 2018 to meet the industry’s demand for highly skilled cannabis growers.

Schools of Media Studies, and Trades – 3 p.m.
Speaker: Mike Crawley is an Ontario provincial affairs reporter for CBC News. His career has been dedicated to covering important global issues in Africa, Europe and the U.S. He will receive an Honorary Diploma in Journalism.

Friday, June 21

School of Hospitality, Tourism and Sport; and the Canadian Food and Wine Institute – 10 a.m.
Speaker: Kelly L. Brown is the senior vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs, for Arterra Wines Canada Inc., the leading wine producer in Canada. Previously, she was the chief people, legal and corporate affairs officer for Molson Coors Canada. In 2012, she represented Molson on the popular TV series Undercover Boss Canada (2012). Brown will receive an Honorary Graduate Certificate in Wine Business Management.

Inaugural graduates from the Artisan Distilling program, from NC’s Canadian Food and Wine Institute, will cross the convocation stage. Launched in 2018 as the first of its kind in Canada, the program rounded out NC’s program offerings as the only college in Canada with full-time wine, beer and distilling programs.

Niagara College’s Spring Convocation Ceremonies are streamed live, and may be viewed at