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Allan Markin receives Honorary Associate of Arts Degree

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FORT ST. JOHN – Allan P. Markin, a longtime philanthropist who played a significant role in the construction of the Jim Kassen Industry Training Centre, has received an Honorary Associate of Arts Degree from Northern Lights College.

The Honorary Degree was conferred by Board of Governors chair Karen Simpson and Vice President Academic and Research Dr. Peter Nunoda during Convocation ceremonies on June 20 at the North Peace Cultural Centre in Fort St. John. Markin becomes the 17th individual to receive an Honorary Degree from NLC.

Half of the financing for the $12-million Industry Training Centre, which opened in 2007 at NLC’s Fort St. John Campus, came from contributions from petroleum industry partners. At the time, Markin was Chair of the board of directors of Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL). CNRL contributed $500,000 towards the Industry Training Centre project, and Markin matched that donation with an individual contribution of $500,000.

In his address to the graduates, Markin talked about the importance of developing an individual vision and mission to help guide your life.

“Who’s the boss of you? You’re the boss of yourself, and it’s important to learn that early in life,” Markin said. “What can you do that you are not doing now that would make a big difference in your life? We’re on this earth to live, to love, to learn, and we’re on this earth to leave a legacy.” 

Presently, Markin is a major supporter of the Alberta Project Promoting Active Living and Healthy Eating in Schools (APPLE Schools) program. The program is now running in 63 northern Alberta schools, serving urban, rural, and First Nations, Metis and Inuit students.

In recognition of his support of education, Markin has received honorary degrees from the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge and St. Francis Xavier, and he was a founder of St. Mary’s University.

Another major benefactor of Markin’s philanthropy has been health. He created the Pure North S’Energy Foundation, an innovative health program focused on primary prevention. As of January 2014, Pure North had over 30,000 registered participants from a broad cross-section of backgrounds, with a special focus on seniors, the under-served, fire and flood victims, urban and Aboriginal populations, including many communities in northern Canada.