Niagara College to celebrate Class of 2018 at Spring Convocation

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 - 10:00 to Friday, June 22, 2018 - 10:00

More than 3,700 students and their guests will converge on Niagara College’s Welland Campus June 19-22, to celebrate their accomplishments as Niagara College graduates at Spring Convocation. The class of 2018 will add their names to the College’s growing list of alumni, now over 80,000 strong.

“Our convocation ceremonies are a special celebration for all of us at Niagara College,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “These are the highly skilled graduates who will go on to make their mark in all corners of our society, and our faculty and staff take great pride in their success.”

A series of standout business and community leaders from Niagara and beyond will deliver convocation addresses to the grads and their guests, and will receive special honours from the College.

Tuesday, June 19 – 10 a.m. 

Hospitality, Tourism and Sport; Food and Wine Sciences

Speaker: Vicki Heyman is co-founder of Uncharted, LLC, a values-driven family office that convenes and connects a diverse group of Americans and Canadians. The long-time Chicago resident who was active in the Obama for America campaign (2008 and 2012) is married to former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman. She spent three years in Ottawa (2014 to 2017) as a cultural envoy, helping to strengthen ties between the two countries. Heyman will receive an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies.

3 p.m.

Nursing and Personal Support Worker Studies

Speaker: Daljit Singh Gujral is a first-generation entrepreneur from India and president of INSCOL, which operates a nursing institute in Toronto that trains internationally educated nurses who move to Canada. Gujral will receive an Honorary Diploma in Health Studies.

Wednesday, June 20 – 10 a.m.

Community Services

Speaker: Coletta McGrath is executive director of Quest Community Health Centre in St. Catharines and a founding board member of the St. Catharines Life Lease Corporation, which built two of the first not-for-profit life lease buildings for older adults in Niagara. McGrath will receive an Honorary Bachelor of Applied Studies.

3 p.m.

Justice and Fitness Studies; Allied Health; Nursing and Support Worker Studies

Speaker: Bryan MacCulloch is chief of the Niagara Regional Police Service and a recipient of the Governor General of Canada's Peace Officer Exemplary Service Medal and Bar for dedicating 30 years of distinguished service to our community. Chief MacCulloch will receive an Honorary Diploma in Police Foundations.

Thursday, June 21 – 10 a.m.

Business and Management Studies 

Speaker: Anthony J. Spiteri grew up in Niagara, graduated from Niagara College’s Business Administration program with honours in 1989 before becoming a leader in the consumer packaged goods industry. He is currently the vice president of marketing, research and development with Pinty’s Delicious Foods Inc., executive chairman of Erie Treat Motorsports, and chairman of Eataly Food Incorporated. Spiteri will receive a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Thursday morning’s ceremonies will also honour the recipient of the 2018 Governor General’s Academic Medal, presented to Business Administration – Accounting graduate Jesse Reynders, who graduates with a grade-point average of 98.23 per cent.

3 p.m.

Academic and Liberal Studies; English Language Studies; Media Studies

Speaker: Tim Denis recently celebrated 40 years in radio. He has been a host at Newstalk 610 CKTB for more than 23 years, and has made waves in Niagara and beyond with his work as a singer, actor, director and songwriter. Denis will receive an Honorary Diploma in Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film.

Friday, June 22 – 10 a.m.

Environmental and Horticultural Studies; Technology Studies; Trades

Speaker: Sarah Watts-Rynard is executive director of the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum. An advocate of the skilled trades, Watts-Rynard works to encourage a better understanding of the high-level of competency and skill required by these careers. She will receive an Honorary Diploma in Skilled Trades.

Friday will also be a milestone for the School of Environmental and Horticultural Studies, as it will see the first cohort of graduates from the college’s Commercial Beekeeping program. The graduate certificate program is the first of its kind in Eastern Canada, and was launched in 2017 to meet a significant demand for qualified, professional beekeepers across the country.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit