TIMMINS, ON: Northern College is pleased to announce that the 2020 Convocation ceremonies for its graduating students will be moving ahead as scheduled, but not as it has been done for decades before this.
This digital convocation marks a first in the history of the College, and represents a commitment to innovation during changing times. The College has been busy working to make necessary changes, as a result of Covid-19, to continue to deliver essential educational services to students and campus communities so that its students could graduate, which many will be doing this June.
“We’ve reached that point in the year where we celebrate the excellence of our graduates, their achievements and mark the end of their educational journey with Northern College,” stated Northern College President & CEO, Dr. Fred Gibbons. “While it may not be possible for us to gather and celebrate in person, if the experience brought about by COVID-19 has taught us anything as an institution, it’s that there will usually always be a digital alternative that we can implement.”
Northern College will be hosting a digital convocation for graduates from the Class of 2020 in mid-June which will be available for grads to view on its website. While the College recognizes that there is no replacing the feeling of accomplishment that comes with crossing the stage, diploma in hand, Northern is working hard to ensure the moment is as memorable as possible.
With this in mind, the College will be extending an open invitation to the Class of 2020 to attend a future, regularly scheduled convocation anytime in the next three years once the COVID-19 pandemic has passed, knowing that events like this are an important part of the post-secondary journey. It will also be sending out a “grad pack” gift to all graduates including their diploma, certificate, degree or post-graduate certificate, a mortar board, and other mementos to help grads celebrate online with family and friends.
“This is a moment that can’t be replaced,” stated Nicole Gingras, Northern College’s Alumni Relations and Foundations Officer. “What we are doing is making the best of a difficult situation and adding those special touches that that set Northern apart; our students and graduates mean the world to us and we want to show them they matter. Helping them celebrate this achievement in as meaningful a way as possible despite our changed circumstances is important to us as a College.”
As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to alter the societal landscape, Northern College faculty, staff and administrators are proud of the work that was undertaken to quickly pivot once physical distancing protocols and restrictions were mandated. Over the one week of March Break, the College quickly responded to mapping out how to best serve students remotely during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
They continue to do so for September planning, adjusting class delivery platforms and curriculum, and ensuring ongoing student supports and financial relief.
“We’ll be letting the Class of 2020 know that this time will always be remembered as one in which many things were disrupted, but that we welcome them back to Northern to celebrate this special occasion with us in the future and hope that they can find connections despite the distance between us,” stated Susan Hunter, Northern College’s Director of Marketing, Communications and External Relations. “This has been a difficult time for everyone, especially our students, who have done a fantastic job of facing and overcoming adversity in completing their final semester through distance learning. This is an accomplishment worth celebrating and we want to make sure all of our grads have an opportunity to do that.”
The College anticipates approximately 600 graduates in June, with a remaining 500 to graduate at various times over the summer and into the fall as they wrap up their applied learning.
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