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New traditions were started and wise words shared at NWCC Convocation 2016

News Release

May 16, 2016

Terrace, BC – A convocation ceremony was held in Terrace on Thursday, May 12 to celebrate the accomplishments of the Northwest Community College Class of 2016.  This year, some new traditions were incorporated into the ceremony to highlight the uniqueness of this region.

First, to honour their accomplishments, the graduates were drummed into the theatre by Gitlaxdax Drummers: Ross Scodane and Gerald Brown.

Second, while other institutions typically open convocation by carrying in a mace, NWCC has introduced a paddle, designed and painted by Stan Bevan, artist and instructor with the NWCC Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art. 

“This paddle is a symbol of convocation,” said Ken Burt, President of NWCC. “In pursuing education you have given yourself the tools to navigate the next stages of your journey.” 

Cassie Wreggitt, graduating with an Associate Degree in Environmental Geo Science, gave a heart-felt speech acknowledging the struggles, strengths and victories of the average student and thanking the family and faculty that have supported her through her program.

“We all came to NWCC knowing little of what we would become and what we would accomplish,” said Wreggitt.  “We will leave knowing we who are and that is a gift.”

Keynote speaker, Alice Maitland, Mayor of Hazelton and retired NWCC regional director, received the honorary title Director Emeritus. In her comments to the graduates, Maitland said “I’ve gotten old doing what I love to do and working on things I’m passion about. You should do that.”

Along with the earned credentials of students, NWCC President and CEO, Ken Burt presented a number of awards during the ceremony:

  • Governor General’s Medal – Neil Pilgrim, Student of Applied Coastal Ecology
  • Distinguished Alumni Award – Kyle Thomson, Owner of Monster Industries.
  • Employee Recognition Award  – Cindy Motschilnig,  NWCC accounting clerk
  • The Community Service – Erbert Operana, NWCC cook and community volunteer

Event photos are available on request.




Media contact:

Heather Bastin, Director, Communications and Public Relations
Northwest Community College
E-Mail: | Telephone: 250.638.5494



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