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Gordon Lightfoot, Canada's most prolific and greatest singer-songwriter, received a Doctor of Music degree from Lakehead University-Orillia at its 2015 Convocation Ceremonies June 6.

Graduates were treated to a special performance by the Orillia-born, internationally renowned recording artist.

More than 300 students walked across the stage and claimed their hard-earned degrees during the ceremony.

“While today celebrates our graduates’ academic achievement, as they embark on the pursuit of their individual successes, my main message to them is to never stop learning,” said Chancellor Derek Burney. “By remaining curious and driven, our graduates will have the freedom and opportunity to turn what they have learned at Lakehead University into any number of careers and successes.”

Lakehead also recognized the contribution to the university of Robert Lamb, who, as manager of Economic Development for the City of Orillia from 2002 to 2009, played a key role in the establishment of the Lakehead campus. Lamb, who continues to be a passionate supporter and volunteer with the university, was given the Civitas Award.

Last year's Civitas Award winner was Bob Bowles, an environmentalist and naturalist who is also Lake Simcoe Living Magazine's Nature Detective.

Angelo Orsi was recognized by being named a Fellow of the University for his contribution to the growth and development of the University. Orsi was one of the principal drivers of Lakehead University’s campus expansion to 500 University Avenue. His dedication to the success of the campus has helped assure the longevity and prosperity of the University.

Among the graduates receiving their degrees this year, was the first cohort of students to receive their Honours Bachelor of Arts & Science – Criminology degrees.

Another “first” this year was the addition of a “Voice of Convocation,” to the ceremony. Two students, Liz Breton (HBASc/BEd) and Anna Lisa Martin (HBASc/BEd) shared their exceptional experiences at Lakehead, concluding with reference to the spirited Thunderwolf cheer.

Breton was also the recipient of the President’s Award and Lloyd Dennis Award, both recognizing contributions of outstanding citizenship and leadership with the University.

Other student award winners included:
• The Chancellor’s Medal – awarded to the highest-ranking part-time student in an undergraduate degree program: Karin Wargel (HBSW)
• Orillia Campus Dean’s Medal – highest-ranking student in Arts & Science degree programs: Leah Catton (HBASc) and Jenny Thomas (BASc).
• Dean’s Medal for highest standing in Sustainability Sciences: Carly Chantler (HBASc)
• Dean’s Medal for highest standing in Interdisciplinary Studies: Leah Catton (HBASc)
• The William A. West Medal for highest standing in Education: Rebecca Hamilton-Bachiu

“Our university has only succeeded as an institution for 50 years in Northwestern Ontario and nine years in Orillia because graduates, like these crossing the stage today, have chosen to make Lakehead their university,” said President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Brian Stevenson. “Just as Lakehead has grown, changed, and influenced the world, it is now our graduates’ turn to continue to grow, to change, and to influence our world.”

Article and photos courtesy of Lakehead University-Orillia


Anna Lisa Martin and Liz Breton represent the “Voice of Convocation” as they speak to fellow graduates at Lakehead Orillia’s 2015 Convocation ceremony.


Lakehead University graduates celebrate following the 2015 Convocation today in Orillia.


On homepage: Orillia born, and internationally renowned recording artist, Gordon Lightfoot celebrates his Honorary Doctor of Music degree at Lakehead University Orillia’s 2015 Convocation ceremony at Rotary Place in Orillia on Saturday, June 6.




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