Skip to main content

NLC graduates recognized at Convocation ceremonies

On , In College News

Convocation CeremoniesDAWSON CREEK – The accomplishments of more than 350 students at the Chetwynd, Dawson Creek and Tumbler Ridge campuses of Northern Lights College were recognized on May 13 during Convocation ceremonies held in the gymnasium at the College’s Dawson Creek Campus.

Students in 38 different program areas offered at the three campuses were honoured through the conferral of certificates and diplomas. Credentials were presented by NLC president Laurie Rancourt, accompanied by Board chair Edith Leer, vice president education Craig Herbert, deans of instruction and program instructors.

Four valedictorians – representing the three campuses – reflected on their time at NLC, and provided encouraging looks to the future for the graduating class.

The valedictorians were Naomi Handfield, a Visual and Graphic Communication Arts student in Dawson Creek; Fallyn McKellar, a Career and College Preparation student in Tumbler Ridge; and Ellen Hauber and Yvonne Knowles, Career and College Preparation students in Chetwynd.

The valedictorians recalled the long hours they and their classmates put into their studies, the opportunities that were provided for learning, and thanked friends, family and NLC staff members who were important to their successes.
And they offered congratulations to all the graduates.

Convocation Ceremonies“If some of your nights were as long as mine, you’ve earned this,” said Handfield. “Skills and knowledge are invaluable, and the College has provided us with both.”

The keynote speaker was Danny Schilds, chair of the NLC Foundation, and a member of the first-ever class of students at NLC in 1975.

His message to the graduates encouraged them to do whatever they could to experience as much as possible in their lives. He focused on three major themes, encouraging the graduates to “live in a big bubble,” “wear many hats,” and “make a difference.”

“Your College education will help you make a living; use that living to make a life,” Schilds said. “I wish you good thinking and good choices, because those are things you can control.”

Schilds recalled his 1975 graduation from South Peace Senior Secondary, and a keynote speaker who talked about how that year’s graduating class was leaving the protective bubble of high school and home, and moving into the world.

“It was a great analogy, but it doesn’t work today. You’re already out there. Probably more than any graduates in the past, you’re connected to the world,” Schilds said. “The danger is, as you go into the world, you construct your own bubble. The challenge is to make that world bigger… make a bigger bubble, and take part in lots of things.”

A number of other dignitaries were in attendance, including City of Dawson Creek acting-mayor Marilyn Belak; Village of Pouce Coupe councillor Larry Fynn; District of Chetwynd councillor Merlin Nicholls; and School District 59 assistant superintendent Rob Dennis. Elder Louise Isadore delivered an opening blessing, followed by the Northern Lights Drummers.

NLC hosts three Convocation ceremonies each year. Convocation will also be held in Fort St. John on June 10 and Fort Nelson on June 17.