“Welcome to the biggest extended family gathering of the year,” said Angus Graeme, Selkirk College president during his welcome speech to the hundreds of family and friends who gathered to celebrate their grads accomplishments.
“There is something very special about bringing people closer together to celebrate place, celebrate accomplishments, passages of self, journeys of learning, fulfillment of dreams. It is our hope at Selkirk after your time here with us, graduates, that you’re closer to your dreams … How lucky we are, at Selkirk College, to be part of your learning journey to be part of your diversity and to have a modest hand in the development of your hands. Today I, and we, congratulate you and thank you for your time with us. You really are people who can make a difference and will make a difference where ever your talents take you.”
“Today marks a greater beginning for you,” said Bruce Morrison, Board Chair for the Board of Governors. “Our hope, here at Selkirk College, is that as you complete your time with us and move on to new challenges, you do so feeling empowered. It is our hope that the experience you’ve had here at Selkirk will inspire you to continue learning and to transform the lives of others in your chosen field of study, your communities and your families.”
Compassionate instruction and grateful grads
The connection Selkirk instructors have to their students couldn’t have been more apparent than during the graduation ceremony. The instructors from each department lined up like proud parents to wish each and every student all the best with a handshake, a hug and some words of encouragement.
Greg Skelton, a graduate of the Advanced Medical Transcription program offered through Selkirk College’s School of Health and Human Services, felt his instructors are why he succeeded, despite some personal challenges he faced on his journey.
“Selkirk College has been so awesome to me,” said Skelton, who hails from Mississippi and now lives in Trail with his wife. “The instructors worked with me in every way possible and I’m just amazed by it… I was at two other colleges before and Selkirk College is by far the better college. (The staff) will do anything to help someone achieve their goals.”
Skelton was the first person to walk the aisle at the 2013 Graduation ceremonies. It was the first time he’d ever made that walk and he was pretty excited.
Distinguished educator, volunteer and alumnus honoured
Among the distinguished guests at the annual event was Honorary Diploma in Business Administration recipient Darlene Kalawsky, Distinguished Educator Award recipient Dr. Gordon Turner and Distinguished Alumnus Award winner Anthony Crosfield.
Anthony Crosfield, a 1985 grad of the Hairdressing Program, is an award winning and internationally recognized hairdresser who owns Union Salon in Vancouver. Crosfield, who continues to serve on the Hairdressing Program’s Industry Advisory Committee and will often teach current Selkirk College students, was asked to make the Graduation Address.
Selkirk College President & CEO, Angus Graeme, Dr. Gordon Turner and Board of Governors Chair, Bruce Morrison.
“Be a by-product of the life you lead,” advised Crosfield to his fellow graduates. During a job interview shortly after graduation, Crosfield was asked if he’d like to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond. He quickly replied he’d like to be a “big fish in a big pond” and decided to make the move from the Kootenays to Vancouver.
“So I moved, I took a chance and I’m standing here because it is one of the many chances that I took,” said Crosfield. “That’s what got me here today; it was the chances that I took. I said ‘yes’ and ‘how do I get farther’.”
“I think you need to thank your parents. Grads, you think you worked hard to get here today. Those people have worked harder to get you here today.”
“Be the change you want to see in the world,” said Crosfield. “For my final proverb, this is one I have lived my life by that is very dear to me. It is a George Bernard Shaw quote, ‘Life is not a candle. It is a magnificent torch that I have a hold of for a while. It is my obligation to make sure that it is burning brighter before I pass it off to the next generation’. So, here’s your torch. Always aim higher and congratulations to the class of 2013.”
Valedictorian reflects on the great experiences at Selkirk College
This year’s valedictorian was Business Administration Accounting and Finance graduate Lauren Zanier. Zanier will be continuing on her education journey in a Bachelor of Commerce program at either Okanagan College or Thompson Rivers University. She was selected by her peers to represent them.
Grad 2013 Valedictorian Lauren Zanier: Selkirk College Grad Class 2013 Valedictorian Lauren Zanier told the grads to challenge themselves and thanked the staff for helping each one of them succeed.
“No matter the program, regardless of whether you are full time, part time, mature student or otherwise, we were in this together,” said Zanier. “For me, Selkirk College is my community.”
She thanked all the instructors who go above and beyond the call of duty to help students succeed amidst calls and claps from her fellow graduates.
“It is my hope that throughout our lives we will be reminded of how little we know, humbled by our peers and motivated to learn more, be more and do more,” said Zanier. “Challenge yourself. As the old adage goes, ‘if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you’.”
Nursing student receives professional award pin
A very excited and surprised Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduate Tessa Munro is the 2013 recipient of the Student Professional Award Pin.
Offered in partnership with the University of Victoria, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program had 30 graduates this year. Katie Weir, the Kootenay Registered Nurse Practice Support representative with the College of Registered Nurses of BC, was honoured to present the award during the graduation ceremonies.
“A professional possesses a specialized body of knowledge, applies this knowledge with confidence, follows a code of ethics, provides a service to the public and is committed to the privilege of self-regulation,” said Weir. “CRNBC is pleased to recognize the student in this graduating class who has demonstrated the most potential for exemplifying professionalism in nursing. This student has been selected by Selkirk College in consideration of her professional behavior throughout the education program.”
Faye Agnew, a graduate from the Ceramics Certificate at Selkirk College's Kootenay Studio Arts Program, got a big hug and some flowers from her friends after crossing the stage for her certificate. Her friends said they waited three years to give her that hug.