Brock University will bestow an honorary degree upon Betty-Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care, St. Catharines/Thorold, at its Fall Convocation on Saturday, Oct. 18.
She will receive her degree and will also deliver a convocation address to the graduating class at the day’s 10 a.m. ceremony. The day will also include an afternoon ceremony for graduates at 2 p.m. and, in total, more than 850 students are expected to graduate.
“Betty-Lou is extremely deserving of this recognition as her name is synonymous in our region with volunteerism and goodwill for the residents of Niagara,” says President Jack Lightstone. “Her extensive experience in the local not-for-profit sector, coupled with the seven years she served as a public member on our Board of Trustees, has had an impact on social, economic and cultural diversity on our campus and within our community.
“Betty-Lou’s respected and valued contributions to both Brock and Niagara make her an inspiration to our students and our institution as a whole,” adds Lightstone. “We are extremely pleased to be recognizing her long-time community efforts in this way.”
Souter has served three terms on Brock’s Board of Trustees — one one-year term and two three-year terms — from 2007 to 2014. As a past public member of Brock’s Board of Trustees, she served on many committees instrumental to the operation and mission of the University, including the Pedagogy, Advancement and Research committee, and the Financial Planning, Audit and Human Resources committee, among others.
Under her guidance and direction, Community Care assists an average of 1,850 households per month in St. Catharines and Thorold with new clients seeking out their services every day. The organization distributes an average of 4,000 pounds of food daily, five days a week, at a value of approximately $10,000 per day.
The group also oversees and administers the region-wide Niagara Nutrition Partners program at elementary and high schools, which feeds 13,000 students every school day.
Community Care also has strong connections to Brock. There are a number of annual and one-off events organized by members of the University community that give back to the organization, in turn, helping them to continue to assist residents of Niagara in need.
Examples include: Brock’s September Grape Stomp collects canned food; the Goodman Business Students’ Association raises cash and food donations during their winter 5 Days for the Homeless event; the Campus Store’s annual Adopt an Angel campaign collects toys for local children at Christmas time; and Visitor Information and Parking Services’ yearly Giving Tree drive in the Schmon Tower lobby collects hats, mitts, scarves, winter coats and snow pants to offer warmth to those who need it – just to name a few.
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