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.

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