The impossible is possible thanks to human ingenuity, creativity and imagination – that’s the powerful message Col. Chris Hadfield delivered to packed audiences during two presentations at Georgian College on May 23.
“Education, enabling technology, how we organize ourselves on an individual level – these help us get the impossible done,” he said.
Col. Hadfield was visiting the Barrie Campus as part of the 20th annual Advancing Learning conference. He spoke in the morning to conference participants, students, staff, faculty, college supporters and community members and in the afternoon to Grade 6 students at a presentation organized by the Simcoe County District School Board.
Thanks to Georgian’s videoconferencing technology, Col. Hadfield’s presentations reached approximately 10,000 people across the college’s seven campus communities (Barrie, Orillia, Midland, Muskoka, Orangeville, South Georgian Bay and Owen Sound).
During the morning session, Col. Hadfield shared his story of how he turned his dreams as a young boy into an out-of-this-world reality. He also shared important lessons on preparedness, noting that “how we visualize failure is just as important as how we visualize our success.”
Since blasting off from Kazakhstan in 2012, Col. Hadfield has become a worldwide sensation, harnessing the power of social media to make outer space accessible to millions. He is the pioneer of many firsts in Canadian history; he was the first Canadian to perform spacewalks and command the International Space Station.
A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer and pilot, his many awards include receiving the Order of Ontario, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. Col. Hadfield was named the Top Test Pilot in the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy, and inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. He also authored the internationally bestselling book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.
“Georgian is all about extraordinary experiences, and today was certainly one of them,” said college President and CEO MaryLynn West-Moynes. “Col. Hadfield reminded us all of the power of having a vision – that anyone can achieve their dream if they have the right tools, work hard and go out and get it.”