FORT NELSON – Approximately 40 students from the Fort Nelson Campus of Northern Lights College were recognized on June 22 during Convocation ceremonies held at the Phoenix Theatre.
Students in four programs were honoured through the conferral of certificates and diplomas. As well, Angie Smith, an Applied Business Technology student, was named the Valedictorian.
A special highlight of the event was the conferring of an Honorary Associate of Arts Degree on Mavis Brown, a long-time resident of Fort Nelson, who provides a daily example to students at the Fort Nelson Campus of what can be achieved through a commitment to lifelong learning.
In her keynote address, Brown talked to the graduates about how they should never be afraid to pursue education throughout their lives, and how there is such a great reward to education.
Brown’s lifelong learning project began in the 1960s when, as a mother in her 30s, she resumed her education at Fort Nelson Secondary School. She sat in classrooms with students less than half her age, including her oldest son Earl. After five years, she earned her diploma.
In 1975, Brown was a member of the first-ever class of students to attend classes at NLC’s Fort Nelson centre. Her first class was Early Canadian History. By 1980, Brown had completed her first year of university.
Since then, Brown has continued to study at NLC, completing a variety of courses: first aid, computers, Office Administration, and 18 more university credits, including Cultural Anthropology II in the 2012 Winter semester. As well, she completed two years of classes in Vancouver to become a BC Registered Massage Therapist, and opened a massage therapy clinic in 1987.
Brown is also committed to her community. She is a former Fort Nelson Citizen of the Year, and currently is involved in the Fort Nelson Historical Society, serves as President of the Northern Lamplighters, Director of Fort Nelson Hospice, and Board Member for Hillcrest United Church and the Fort Nelson Chamber of Commerce.
Other dignitaries bringing greetings to the graduates included Kathi Dickie, Chief, Fort Nelson First Nation; Bill Streeper, Mayor, Northern Rockies Regional Municipality; Wendy Normandeau, NLC Board of Governors; and Laurie Rancourt, President, NLC.
As well, Gerri McDonald, NLC Aboriginal Coordinator, and Violet Markin performed an Honour Song for the students.
In addition to the presentation of credentials to the graduating students, a number of students at the Fort Nelson Campus were also recognized with awards, bursaries and scholarships valued at more than $8,000. Awards were presented to the following students:
· Kristiana Bailey (Commitment to Education; Nikki MacDonald Award; Talisman Career and College Preparation Award)
· Jessica Furoy (NLC Student Association Award; Northern Rockies Regional District Award; James Keeler Memorial Award)
· Brett Hannah (NLC Student Association Award; Billy Fox Memorial Award; Devon Canada Aboriginal Award)
· Kathleen Olson (NLC Student Association Award; Fort Nelson Rotary Club Award; Conoco Phillips Canada Ltd. Award)
· Laureen Harrold (NLC Student Association Award; Zedi Aboriginal Award)
· Ashlee Mcrae (Northern Institute for Resources Studies; Credit Union Foundation of BC)
· Angie Smith (NLC Student Association Award; Alma Van Dusen Vancouver Foundation Award)
· Karleigh Hoff (Academic Excellence; Fort Nelson Campus Staff and Alumni Award)
· Corrine Diamond (Alma Van Dusen Vancouver Foundation Award)
· Lhovelyne Olivarez (Alma Van Dusen Vancouver Foundation Award)
· Hilda Woodland (Alma Van Dusen Vancouver Foundation Award)
· Hillary Deneron (Eh-Cho-Dene Enterprises Award)
· Pamela Ward (M. Keith Lutsiak Business Management Award)
· Cheryl Toews (M. Keith Lutsiak Business Management Award)
· Nancy Stevens (Paul Dampier Community Commitment Award)
· Josey Widdoes (G&O Bumper to Bumper Award)
· Meagan Hiebert (Vaughn Grinder Award)
· Monica Kind (Conoco Phillips Canada Ltd. Award – Aboriginal)
The College holds three Convocation ceremonies each year. The Fort St. John ceremony was held June 14, and the Dawson Creek ceremony was held June 15.
Fort Nelson Campus convocants gather for
a group photo.
Mavis Brown is presented with her Honorary Associate of Arts Degree by NLC Registrar
Dr. Loren Lovegreen and President Laurie Rancourt.