Empty seats a good sign at graduation
Eighty-three students receive diplomas and awards from CNA
There was plenty of pride and satisfaction on display at the Princess Sheila NaGeira Theatre in Carbonear June 15 as graduates from the College of the North Atlantic accepted their diplomas and certificates during a year-end ceremony.
A total of 83 students were recognized in a variety of academic fields. However, there was no shortage of empty seats in the rows reserved for graduates, with many of them already on the job.
It was symbolic of the “unprecedented economic opportunities” currently available in this province, said Child, Youth and Family Services Minister Charlene Johnson, who brought greetings on behalf of Education Minister Joan Burke. Johnson is also the MHA for Trinity-Bay de Verde, and commented on the fact that many of the graduates were from her district.
Some of the empty seats were representative of the fact that many of the students have already made the transition to the main CNA campus in St. John’s, while others reside outside the area and were not able to attend, explained campus administrator Gary Myrden.
Several dignitaries addressed the graduates. College vice-president (academic and learner services) Cyril Organ spoke about the “unprecedented growth” the 17 CNA campuses in the province have experienced in recent years.
Roy Bennett, on behalf of the college’s board of governors, referred to an “exciting day” for all concerned. “It’s the end of a successful journey, with a new one about to begin,” he said. The students “continue to make us proud,” he added.
Myrden highlighted student achievement and the quality education offered by the college. Speaking directly to the graduates, he said, “ Your success is our success.”
Carbonear town councillor Ed Goff spoke about the “world-class education” obtained by the graduates, and wished them “every success in future endeavours.”
Johnson, meanwhile, said it is “ very important to celebrate our successes, particularly a milestone such as this.”
She said CNA is “recognized nationally and internationally for programming and research excellence.”
This is why the provincial government is making “major strategic investments” in the province’s public college system, with Budget 2011 providing $94 million to CNA.
“ With your credentials in hand, you face a world of opportunity,” she said. “No matter where your life path takes you, the foundation you have built here ... will prepare you for the prospects which lie ahead.”
She challenged the graduates to continue to “demand excellence of yourself and, together, we will continue to build a brighter and prosperous future for our province and its people, our richest resource of all.”
The long line of graduates receiving diplomas and certificates made for a colourful presentation.
Diplomas were awarded in business administration (accounting and human resource management). Certificates were presented in adult basic education, bricklaying, carpentry, construction/industrial electrician, and comprehensive arts and science transfer.
Graduation ceremonies were held last week for students at the Carbonear campus of the College of the North Atlantic. Shown here are recipients of the President’s Medal of Excellence: Front (l-r) — Mila Reid (adult basic education), Dianne Chaytor (business administration), Lynda Gendreau (business administration), Ian Hutchings (comprehensive arts and science transfer) and Jason Hurley (construction/industrial electrician). In the back are, from left, campus administrator Gary Myrden and Cyril Organ, college vice-president (academic and learner services).
Business administration graduate Dianne Chaytor (right) received the Governor General’s medal, president’s medal of excellence, and CIBC community leadership scholarship. She is shown here with Child, Youth and Family Services Minister and TrinityBay de Verde MHA Charlene Johnson.