Georgian convocation ceremonies extra meaningful this year

Approximately 3,850 students from Georgian’s seven campuses are graduating from 130 programs this month, joining the college’s global community of 95,000 alumni. More than 2,450 of them chose to receive their credential in person at one of six convocation ceremonies held June 19 to 21 at the Sadlon Arena in Barrie.

Wide view of stage at convocation, president shaking hand of graduate, both wearing Georgian blue gowns

This is one of the most exciting and meaningful times of the academic year at Georgian. It took a lot of hard work and perseverance for our graduates to reach this milestone moment. We’re incredibly proud of them and inspired by all they’ve achieved.

– Kevin Weaver, Georgian’s President and CEO
President Weaver shaking the hand of a grad on stage at convocation, both in Georgian blue gowns

The ceremonies included special elements this year.

Eagle Feather

In recognition of Georgian’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, an Eagle Feather will now be part of all convocation ceremonies to honour the strength, determination and commitment of graduates. Many Indigenous cultures believe the feather is sacred because of its ability to fly closest to the Creator. It symbolizes respect, honour, strength, courage and wisdom.

The morning ceremony on June 19 included the first processional with the Eagle Feather. To be gifted an Eagle Feather is the greatest honour and requires a commitment to respect and care for all of Creation.

Georgian was presented with the Eagle Feather by Curtis Copegog, alumnus of the Native Community and Social Development program (class of 2012, now called Indigenous Community and Social Development) and Addictions: Treatment and Prevention program (class of 2014) on May 10.

Solomon King, alumnus of the Cabinetmaking Techniques program (class of 2018), designed and created a display case for the feather too.

Georgian alumnus Chris and Visiting Elder Ernestine hold up the Eagle Feather that will be used in all convocation ceremonies moving forward
Alumnus Chris Copegog and Visiting Elder Ernestine Baldwin

Georgian is leading the way in supporting Indigenous initiatives, services and studies. For me, a missing piece was the representation of our Indigenous culture as students walked across the stage to receive their credentials. Having the Eagle Feather permanently present in the Georgian convocation is more inclusive and illustrative of the college’s commitment to the Indigenization strategy it has created. The Eagle Feather is also a reminder and guide to all students, graduates, faculty, staff and the community about the important continued Truth and Reconciliation work, which all must do.

– Curtis

Presentation of honorary degree to Peter B. Moore

At one of the ceremonies on June 20, Georgian’s Board of Governors presented an Honorary Honours Bachelor of Business Administration to Peter B. Moore – a seasoned entrepreneur, highly respected business leader, generous philanthropist and dedicated community champion.

To be recognized like this at this time of my life is a great honour. This is beyond my wildest expectations. It’s been a good long ride and to make contributions to Georgian is a great thing to be able to do.

– Peter

Peter’s passion for innovation influenced him to turn an idea he had for a client into a prototype in his garage in 1979. That prototype led to a successful company he founded – Moore Packaging – which has become a leading manufacturer and employer in our region.

Peter B. Moore receives honourary degree; on stage with Georgian Board Chair and President - both standing over Peter as he signs a document
Richard C. Gauthier, Chair of Georgian’s Board of Governors; Peter B. Moore, honorary degree recipient; and Georgian President and CEO Kevin Weaver

As President and CEO of Moore Packaging, Peter is committed to providing others with opportunities to ideate and create.

He generously invested in the Peter B. Moore Changemaker Space and Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre at Georgian’s Barrie Campus. Both have become hubs for students, faculty and industry to come together to solve complex challenges, develop and incubate ideas, prototype concepts, and test new products. Through various changemaking initiatives and applied research projects, Georgian and its partners are helping to strengthen our community and diversify and grow our local economy.

Peter was also recognized for the personal connections he makes with students.

Graduates in blue gowns in the crowd smiling at the camera and holding up peace signs with their hands

Peter embodies many of the qualities we hope to instill in our graduates. Canada’s first – and only – Ashoka U designated changemaker college, we could ask for no better mentor to inspire our students than Peter. He models active citizenship as an engaged community board member, volunteer with many industry associations, and through his commitment to lasting positive social change.

– President Weaver

Peter has left an enduring legacy not only at Georgian but across a wide range of organizations and charities throughout Simcoe County.

In May 2018, the Board of Governors presented Peter with an Award of Distinction in the Community Partner category for all the ways he’s helped to advance and support the college’s strategic priorities.

Group of happy grads smiling, cheering and hands in the air, all wearing a Georgian blue gown

Congratulations to Peter and all of our 2023 graduates!

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