Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Georgian College celebrated 50 years since its launch with a day-long birthday party Oct. 5, 2017.

Students, staff and community supporters took part in a day of activities, beginning with a flag raising at Barrie City Hall and concluding with a birthday cake made out of 1,400 cupcakes in the form of a huge 50.

Georgian opened its doors on Oct. 5, 1967 in a storefront in Barrie’s Wellington Plaza.

It has grown to include seven campuses with 11,000 students, including 1,600 international students from 60 countries, 6,200 employer partners and three centres for career and employment community services.

“Thanks to the commitment of Georgian staff, as well as the support of our partners, donors and government, we became trailblazers in areas like co-operative education, entrepreneurship and social innovation,” said Georgian President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes. “Our legacy is the 68,000 Georgian graduates who are contributing to our communities and around the world. Tens of thousands more will follow in their footsteps in the next 50 years.”

Among the anniversary events was the grand opening of the Student Services Centre, a gathering of retirees, a donor appreciation event and music from JDM – a popular local band made up of Georgian staff and alumni.

Rick Hansen, Canada’s Man in Motion known for his activism and philanthropic efforts, was the day’s featured speaker at the President’s Thought Leadership Speakers Series, addressing a crowd of 1,400 people. Persistence and perseverance, he said, can help in the growth of a community and help effect change.

Student representative on the Georgian College Board of Governors Hunter Markle commented on the impact that Georgian has had on her.

“I wanted to make opportunities for myself – to be involved and give back to new and returning students like myself. I have been so very lucky to have the support, encouragement, and guidance from my family, support staff, and faculty here at Georgian,” Markle said. “Because Georgian is successful I can benefit from that and become successful in my own pursuits.”

Home Page photo: Canada’s Man in Motion, Rick Hansen, served as the keynote speaker during Georgian College’s celebrations Thursday, marking exactly 50 years to the day the college opened to students on Oct. 5, 1967. Hansen posed with students, staff, retirees, alumni and community partners who were inspired by his presentation.

Above: Members of the Georgian College Students’ Association join (top row, third from left) Georgian College President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes, Carol Anne McLay of Georgian’s first graduating class, Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman, Maureen Naylor, Jane Jackson, Jill Dunlop representing MPP Patrick Brown and Georgian Board of Governors Vice Chair Don Gordon.

Article and photos courtesy of Georgian College.

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