Smiles were the order of the day as more than 3,000 Conestoga graduates had the opportunity to walk across the stage and celebrate their success at our convocation ceremonies. It is always a very proud moment for the students and their families as they receive final verification of their hard work and dedication.
Bright sunny weather greeted families as they drove onto the beautiful Conestoga grounds for the four ceremonies held June 14 th and 15 th . It is wonderful to see the variety of graduates. Some have come to Conestoga right from high school, others have come back to school to upgrade their education and it is not unusual to see moms or dads running after children with their ceremonial robes flowing in the wind. Truly it is a time for many generations to share in the glow of the student's accomplishments.
For some it is an emotional time, realizing they are about to leave the security of Conestoga for the "real world”. However, graduating from the number one college in Ontario eight years running has its benefits. Last year 94% of our graduates had secured jobs within the first six months of graduation. Many at the ceremony were excitedly sharing news of new jobs and career opportunities they had landed. In this day and age of life long learning Conestoga ITAL President Dr. John Tibbits said he expected to see many of them return looking for new learning opportunities to further their growing careers.
Conestoga's top graduate was Alicia Weber who graduated with an average of 95.5%, having garnered a mark of 100% in ten of her courses. Weber graduated from the electronics engineering technology - telecommunications systems program and was awarded the Governors General Medal for her accomplishment. This exceptional student first went to university but realized she liked the combination of theory and hands-on learning that only college can deliver. Today she is a valued employee of Research in Motion doing certification tests for the BlackBerry.
Alumni of Distinction Awards were given to nursing graduate Cindy Coulas, law and security grad Treena Diebolt, Brett Tucker from civil engineering and social services graduate Eva Vlasov.
The Aubrey Hagar Distinguished Teaching Award went to long time liberal studies faculty member Geoff Johnstone.