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More than 2,000 grads from years 2020-22 cross Cambrian’s stage

In-person convocation was held at Cambrian last week for the first time since 2020
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Moureen Ruto of Sudbury (Pre-health Sciences) receives the President’s Gold Award from Cambrian College President Bill Best during last week’s convocation ceremonies.

It was a week of celebration at Cambrian College. More than 2,000 graduating students were honoured at eight different, in-person convocation ceremonies last week.

Extra ceremonies were added to accommodate approximately 860 graduates from the classes of 2020 and 2021. They were invited to this year’s convocation after their ceremonies were replaced with virtual celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was amazing to have graduates from three different years all together for convocation,” says Bill Best, President of Cambrian College, in a press release. 

“We made a promise to our past graduates that we would invite them back for convocation as soon as we could have a face-to-face ceremony. It meant so much for all of us to be together to celebrate what they have accomplished.”

This year’s convocation ceremonies included keynote addresses from several alumni:

• Michael Walton (Law and Security, 1997) Police officer and author (APOK novel series).

• Nicolas Smit (Mining Engineering Technology, 2015), Executive Director of the American Mask Manufacturer’s Association in Washington, D.C.

• Geoff Hatton (Business – Information Systems, 2002), President and CEO of Spectrum Telecom Group.

One of the highlights of convocation is the presentation of student awards recognizing outstanding achievement by members of this year’s graduating class.

The President’s Gold Award is given to a student who achieves high academic standing and demonstrates contributions to campus life and the community.

This year’s Gold Award winner is Moureen Ruto (Pre-Health Sciences).

Ruto, a single mother, moved from Kenya to Canada in 2018, and settled in Sudbury the following year. Ruto worked as a personal support worker while completing her studies at Cambrian, in addition to volunteering in the community. 

This September, Ruto begins her studies in Cambrian’s new stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program.

“Winning this award means a lot to me and it demonstrates that all the hard work was not in vain,” said Ruto. “I want to be a nurse because I want to help people, and as a nurse, I will be able to do more than I can now as a PSW.”

The President’s Silver Award also recognizes a student who has achieved high academic standing while contributing to campus life and the community at large. 

This year’s recipient is Sudbury’s Shawna Peron, who graduated from the Business program. During her time at Cambrian, Peron served as one of Cambrian’s Student Wellness Ninjas and “Human Library Book” in addition to acting as a Student Ambassador during Open House and Orientation Week.

"Winning the President's award means a lot to me,” said Peron.

“I faced many challenges during my time at Cambrian from my own personal health struggles to adapting to learning in a fully virtual environment. This award has shown me that my hard work has paid off and that I was able to make a positive impact on the Cambrian College community.”

The Governor-General’s Academic Medal is awarded to the student with the highest academic achievement over the past year. This year’s recipient is Katelyn Phillips of Redbridge, who achieved an overall average of 96.82 in the Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist Assistant program. Phillips also worked as a Student Tutor in the College’s Learning Centre.

“It was an unexpected honour, and one that signifies overcoming the many challenges I faced along the way to achieve academic excellence,” said Phillips. “It means that even in difficult times, great things can be achieved. My advice for future college students is to take advantage of every opportunity the college can offer you to further your knowledge. The time is now to explore this new world. Ask every foolish question you have, try out every new skill, and take the time to learn what works for you.”

This year’s graduates join the community of Cambrian’s more than 70,000 alumni worldwide.

***An earlier version of this story had an incorrect number in the headline for the number of graduating students. This has been corrected.