PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. - Making a positive impact in the world could have been the theme, as Nova Scotia Community College (NSCC) Strait Area Campus celebrated its graduates, at its 2018 Convocation ceremony, June 7, at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre.
“Today we begin a new journey,” valedictorian Keisha Price-Pierro said.
“Most of us will be finding our way into the work world and meeting new life responsibilities. Let’s remember not to judge others but rather to encourage and empower each and every person, that we meet, to strive to be the very best they can be.”
Price-Pierro, an office administration graduated from Nyanza, Victoria County, Cape Breton, concluded her speech by quoting former NSCC instructor and current business solutions consultant Chris Lewis.
“’Seek great things in life and you will find them. The universe rewards those who keep positive attitudes,’” she quoted Lewis as saying, immediately following her own encouraging and closing words.
“Follow your passion, stay true to yourself and continue this journey with pride and kindness towards others,” Price-Pierro said.
Almost 300 graduates received certificates and diplomas during the ceremony. The Strait Area Campus ceremony was part of NSCC’s 21 convocation celebrations, happening across the province, that will see more than 4,500 students graduate.
“NSCC is committed to giving students the tools and experience they need to succeed in their programs and beyond,” NSCC President Don Bureaux, said.
Bureaux's speech during the ceremony, a mixture of humour, profoundness and inspiration, also spoke of being supportive of one another and assured graduates there are many people out there who, genuinely, are willing to be a helping-hand.
“Convocation is an exciting time and a chance for us to celebrate each student’s success and reflect on all they have accomplished as they embark on the next leg of their journey,” he said.
Strait Area Campus principal Tom Gunn echoed those words.
“Convocation is a special time that celebrates the success of all our students as they walk across the stage and into their futures,” Gunn said.
A number of awards recognizing student achievement and success were presented to graduates. The list includes; Board of Governors’ Award - Ashley Kehoe (cosmetology), Governor General’s Academic Medal - Teya Green (electrical construction and industrial), NSCC Gold Medal Award - Nicholas Archer-Antonsen (Bridge Watch Rating), President’s Award - Jeff Stubbard (steam-fitting/pipefitting) and NSCC Alumni Rising Star Award - Stuart Cameron, Culinary Arts.
NSCC also awarded its highest distinction with grant honorary diplomas including two from the Strait Area Campus; well-respected Mi’kmaw Nation Elder Albert Marshall (School of Trades and Technology) and acclaimed fiddler, author and radio host Natalie MacMaster (School of IT & Creative Industries), who is from nearby Troy, Inverness County.
Marshall was on-hand for the ceremony and shared words of wisdom for the graduates and their supporters, as well as gratitude for being honoured.
MacMaster was unable to attend but her words of appreciation were played via a video message which also included a brief display on her immense musical talent.