Community leader, students and professors recognized at Chancellor’s final convocation

Betty-Lou Souter receiving her honorary degree from Brock Chancellor Ned Goodman at today's morning convocation ceremony

More than 850 Brock students received their degrees at Fall Convocation today. With the addition of today’s graduating class, there are now more than 86,000 students who have graduated from the University in its 50-year history.

At the day’s two convocation ceremonies, Chancellor Ned Goodman welcomed the graduates, along with their friends, family and loved ones. Today was his last convocation as the University’s Chancellor.

Chancellor Ned Goodman welcoming graduates

Chancellor Ned Goodman

“I am happy to be here, this is always a special day,” said Goodman. “It is a special day for the graduates and it is a special day for the family of the graduates that come to celebrate the years that you have put in.”

“This is a very very good institution from the point of view of providing all of you with a tremendous education,” he said. “In my period of time here, it has been very good for me to come here and be able to talk to you.”

Goodman was installed as Brock’s seventh Chancellor at Fall Convocation in October 2007 and he has served in the position for seven years. As Chancellor he has played an instrumental role in advancing the University and the educational welfare of its students.

“I know that all of you who have had a chance to interact previously with our Chancellor will recognize his warmth, his genuineness and his wonderful sense of humour,” said President Jack Lightstone at today’s morning ceremony. “He has greeted every graduate who has crossed this stage with that same warmth for the past seven years.”

Chancellor Goodman will be remembered for his years of service to Brock and for the transformational gift made in October 2012, through his family’s foundation, to forever rename the University’s Faculty of Business the Goodman School of Business.

Betty-Lou Souter before receiving her honorary degree

Betty-Lou Souter before receiving her honorary degree

At Saturday’s 10 a.m. ceremony, John Suk, Chair of the Board of Trustees, presented Spirit of Brock Medals to undergraduate student Daniel Castro and graduate student Leslie Nash.

These medals presented by the Board of Trustees recognize students who exemplify the qualities that best embody the spirit of Maj.-Gen. Sir Isaac Brock – leadership, courage, innovation, inspiration and community involvement.

An honorary degree was also presented to community leader Betty-Lou Souter for her significant contributions to the University as a member of its Board of Trustees (2007-2014) and for her work in the community with Community Care, St. Catharines/Thorold and several other local organizations that she volunteers with.

David S. Howes, a long-time supporter of the University and past chair of its Board of Trustees who has worked alongside Souter, said a few words before the presentation of her degree. He noted, “For more than two decades now, Betty-Lou Souter’s name has been synonymous with the phrase community involvement and leadership.”

“I’ve lost count of how many positions she has served with various boards, committees and community projects,” he said. “I just know that her incredible sense of commitment has positively impacted the lives of many, many people who seriously need that helping hand.”

Betty-Lou Souter delivering the Convocation address

Betty-Lou Souter delivering the Convocation address

In her convocation address, Souter spoke to the graduating class about taking on the challenge of living a life that matters.

“Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident,” she said. “It’s not a matter of circumstance, but of choice. Choose to live a life that matters.”

“As you leave Brock’s campus today,” added Souter. “Remember the lessons learned, the relationships developed and, most importantly, remember who you are – a bright educated individual destined for success – and you will be the best that you can be.”

“Never lose your thirst for knowledge, but most important, live a life that matters,” she said. “From this day forward you are an alumnus of Brock University’s class of 2014 and I am extremely proud to count myself as one of you.”

Professor Tony Bogaert

Professor Tony Bogaert

At the morning ceremony, Vice-President of Research Gary Libben presented Professor Tony Bogaert, from the Departments of Health Sciences and Psychology, with the Brock University Award for Distinguished Research and Creative Activity.

The day’s first ceremony also saw two Governor General’s Silver Medals, which are awarded to the students who achieve the highest academic standing at the undergraduate level, presented to Jordan Raymond Menchella (business administration) and Kristina Wamboldt (mathematics and education).

Professor Marilyn Cottrell

Professor Marilyn Cottrell

At today’s 2 p.m. ceremony, Vice-President, Academic and Provost Neil McCartney presented Professor Marilyn Cottrell from the Department of Economics with the Brock University Award for Distinguished Teaching. She also recently received the Faculty of Social Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching at last year’s Spring Convocation.

Cottrell delivered the afternoon’s convocation address to students.

Videos of Saturday’s ceremonies are available online.

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