Social work program grad Marina Tran, left, receives a student award from NLC registrar Tammy Purchase. She was one of 48 students to complete the program.

Northern Lakes College staff and faculty, along with guests, family, and friends, gathered at The Gathering Place in Slave Lake June 2 to celebrate 727 graduates from the Class of 2023.

The graduating class is the largest ever at NLC!

Last year, there were 665 graduates; in 2019 it was 657. The 2020 and 2021 years were combined, due to COVID, and came to 1,337.

The 2023 graduate procession was led by Glenn Mitchell, President & CEO, and Barry Sharkawi, board chair. The ceremony began with a prayer by Charlie Orr, chair of the Peerless Lake Community Education Committee.

Mitchell delivered the congratulatory address. Graduates were applauded for their perseverance, resiliency, and their ability to bounce back from the difficulties and adversities encountered in their educational journeys, and for maintaining focus on the end goal.

“We love to see the smiling faces, and the sense of pride and accomplishment as you cross the stage,” Mitchell said.

“We feel that same sense of pride and accomplishment. I know with this grad class there will be lots of accomplishments.”

Mitchell also told the grads, “We are honoured that you chose us to be a part of your professional journey, and that we were able to provide you with the education and support you needed to get here today.”

Fort Vermilion School Division Supt. Mike McMann, delivered the keynote address and accepted the 2023 Friend of Northern Lakes College Award on behalf of his school division.

“Courage over comfort,” was one of the points McMann offered the graduating students for consideration.

Class of 2023 valedictorian, Jeno Mansueto, delivered the student address, a mainly light-hearted message, which however got quite serious at one point when he spoke about some personal challenges he had faced on the way to his diploma in nursing.

NLC Students’ Association president Elizabeth Gedcke also brought greetings.

A day earlier, a traditional capping and pinning ceremony marked the completion of the Practical Nurse program for 69 graduates from across the service region. During the candlelight ceremony, each nursing student was presented with a nursing cap and pin.

One reason the number of graduates continues to climb is the convenience and good reputation of NLC’s supported distance learning model. It allows students to do their studies largely without having to leave home.

Amandeep Sidhu, centre, receives her diploma in early learning and child care from NLC board chair Barry Sharkawi, left, and NLC president Glenn Mitchell, right. Sidhu was one of 96 graduates from the program, many of them from Edmonton. Word is getting out among day care workers there (and probably elsewhere) that the NLC program is desirable because it can be taken online, allowing the students to keep working while they study for their diploma.
Members of the platform party as they were introduced to the full house at The Gathering Place on June 2. Left to right are Charlie Orr, who offered the opening prayer, registrar Tammy Purchase, class valedictorian Jeno Mansueto, NLC president Glenn Mitchell, NLC board chair Barry Sharkawi, keynote speaker Mike McMann and NLC Students Association president Elizabeth Gedcke.

June 18, 2023

This item copyrighted by / South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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