PORT HAWKESBURY: After waiting for six months, graduates of the NSCC Strait Area Campus finally received a proper celebration of their accomplishments.
On Saturday, the Class of 2020 was honoured in a virtual convocation ceremony that included Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, NSCC President Don Bureaux and 15 campus valedictorians, with special appearances by celebrated alum Neon Dreams and Ria Mae.
Strait Area Campus award winners included Natural Resources Environmental Technology graduate Kieran Johnson, who took the Board of Governors’ Award.
The Governor General Academic Medal award winner was Amanda Forgeron, who earned her Diploma in Business Administration – Management.
The NSCC Gold Medal was awarded to Stewart MacLean who achieved his Certificate in Culinary Skills.
Lorraine Simon received the NSCC Alumni Award and was conferred a Diploma in Social Services.
The President’s Award went to Allison MacKinnon who completed a Certificate in Continuing Care.
The valedictorian was Drew Muller, who received a Diploma in Natural Resources Environmental Technology.
Upon graduating high school, Muller enrolled in the Natural Resources Environmental Technology program at Strait Area Campus. She said the curriculum at NSCC was far more in-depth than any competing university, and that, combined with being close to home and offering small class sizes, made it her top choice.
Believing that knowledge is power, Muller is currently completing her Bachelor of Engineering Technology at Cape Breton University and is deciding whether to pursue her masters in environmental studies, or travel to James Cook University in Australia where she has been accepted on an Excellence Scholarship in Marine Biology.
Muller credited her fellow NSCC classmates, as well as her instructors, for being a constant support as she progressed through her program.
“I hope as your journey at NSCC comes to an end, that you realize this is merely a stepping stone to the rest of your life,” she said in her valedictory. “Remember as you continue to propel forward in your future, that this life is meant to be lived for you. Life is not easy but good things never do come easily. Continue onward, always striving to educate and be educated. Get out there and make some waves.”
This year, NSCC launched a new career supports hub with access to training, resources, and networks – to help graduates as they navigate their transition into the workforce.
NSCC’s Class of 2020 is made up of over 4,500 graduates who earned their credentials between June and October. Credential packages were mailed to each graduate.
The virtual convocation created the first opportunity to come together as a full NSCC community with friends, family and supporters to recognize and celebrate the Class of 2020 for their achievements and the tremendous work they invested to realize their hopes, dreams and goals.
“While the year was filled with challenges that changed how we learn, study, work and how we view the world, it also stirred us to innovate, to create change,” says Bureaux. “I am so proud of our students for their spirit, commitment, resilience and determination.”
NSCC Student Associations, in partnership with the College, will honour the Class of 2020 by planting of a red spruce tree at each campus. The red spruce is the official tree of Nova Scotia.
Niki Toomey, the NSCC’s communications advisor, said they will get the trees from the Strathlorne Forest Nursery in the new year.
“We will be planting them next spring when they are a bit more mature and have a better chance for survival,” she explained. “This advice came from our Natural Resources Environmental Technology class and the nursery itself.”
More information, including a list of graduates, valedictorians and major award winners, can be found at: www.nscc.ca/convocation.