TIMMINS, ON: Northern College is pleased to congratulate the Class of 2020 on its achievement in the face of unprecedented adversity.
2020 will be a year long remembered in the pages of history as the COVID-19 pandemic swept the globe, altering life in every possible way for billions. Despite this unprecedented world event, Northern College students adapted quickly to the necessary educational changes required to ensure the safety of social distancing and self-isolation while completing their studies.
“For decades, graduates from Northern College have celebrated this moment, full of hope and certainty for a bright future,” stated Dr. Fred Gibbons, Northern College President & CEO. “In so many ways, the Class of 2020 is no different – their future is a bright one. We must acknowledge and celebrate the adaptability of this particular group in that they have overcome circumstances so fully out of their control to arrive at this moment.”
Following the significant measures required to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, students were faced with the advent of completing their terms through distance learning measures this past semester, adjusting to adapted curriculum and, for many, a completely changed educational landscape.
“Over the past two months, when you pivoted along with us and changed the way you were receiving your college education, you dealt with disruption when it was unplanned and arrived unexpectedly and kept studying in a new world created by a global pandemic,” stated Northern College Board Chair George Pirie in his digital address to graduates. “By joining us today as graduates, you have shown that you can produce consistently and apply innovation creatively in an environment that is highly uncertain by completing the assignments and tasks asked of you in a continually evolving space.”
The college is confident that this adaptability, in combination with Northern’s proven digital expertise long before this occurred as well as their strong curriculum will serve the Class of 2020 long into their careers.
“More than any other class in the history of our organization over the past half-century since Northern College has been teaching college-level students, you have faced challenges of untold proportions and have risen to overcome them,” continued Pirie in his digital address to grads. “Perhaps, then, it is not me, but you we need to hear from. Share your stories with us now and into the future. Report back to the “mother ship,” as it were, about the journey and the adventure you have boldly undertaken. Make us proud.”
As part of what has become a COVID changed world, Northern College will be hosting its first ever digital convocation ceremony at northerncollege.ca/grad2020. A grad pack will also be mailed out to each graduate to help them celebrate the special moment.
A total of approximately 650 graduates will cross the virtual stage at this time with the reading of each of their names announced by the college’s respective Deans. 550 more will finish later this summer. The Class of 2020 and their supporters are encouraged to visit the college’s website beginning on Friday, June 19th at 4 p.m. and celebrate with their small circle in person while digitally with the rest of their graduating class. A listing of Scholarships, Bursary and Award winners will also be posted on this convocation site. As a result of the generosity of its donors, over a half million dollars in awards have been distributed to Northern College students over the past academic year. Several hundred thousand additional dollars have also been distributed to support students dealing with an unusual era of Covid in the last two months.
“This has been a year of firsts, for all of us,” stated Gibbons. “2020 has been defined by the unexpected, and we wanted to commit ourselves to providing some consistency, which is why we’ve moved ahead with convocation. For us, this is simply another opportunity to turn to the digital alternatives that have proved to be quite successful throughout this trying time,” he added.
Gibbons message directly to the graduates this year is as follows: “From all of us at Northern College, Congratulations on a job well done, on another of life’s chapters coming to a close as a new one begins with the brightest of futures on the horizon. We hope that your time at Northern has shaped you in some impactful way, because each of you have helped to shape us.”
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