Algonquin College to Bestow Convocation Honours on 8,568 Students at Virtual Ceremonies on Wednesday, June 23

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Algonquin College to Bestow Convocation Honours on 8,568 Students at Virtual Ceremonies on Wednesday, June 23

by ahnationtalk on June 22, 202119 Views

June 21st, 2021

Dr. Vera Etches, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health, and Toronto Maple Leaf Coach Sheldon Keefe are among the seven distinguished guests whom Algonquin College will bestow Honorary Degrees at Spring Convocation 2021.

Algonquin’s College virtual Convocation for the Class of 2021 will be held Wednesday, June 23. More than 8,568 students will receive degrees, diplomas, and certificates to mark their accomplishments as they embark on their chosen careers.

“Our graduates have earned this moment. The class of 2021 has had to endure many additional challenges and sacrifices, and it is more important than ever to recognize their achievements,” said Claude Brulé, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Hosting these ceremonies is a continuation of our commitment to our learners, helping them realize their lifelong dreams, and I congratulate them on reaching this important milestone.”

Media are invited to view the online ceremonies. As part of the celebrations, Algonquin is pleased to grant honorary credentials to the following:

Dr. Vera Etches – Honorary Degree

Medical Officer of Health for Ottawa Public Health

Faculty of Health, Public Safety & Community Studies Convocation Ceremony

June 23, 2021, 1pm-2:30pm

Dr. Vera Etches has become one of the most familiar faces in Ottawa’s civic leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, informing Ottawans throughout the crisis and encouraging them to play their part in “flattening the curve” to prevent the health system from being overwhelmed. As she tries to strike a balance between the dangers of public activity and the mental health needs of citizens, she has led Ottawa Public Health’s essential work on testing, contact management, and reducing outbreaks in long-term care and industrial settings.

Sheldon Keefe – Honorary Degree

Coach, Toronto Maple Leafs

Pembroke Campus

Convocation Ceremony

June 23, 2021, 5pm-6:30pm

Many will recognize Sheldon Keefe as the coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs. In the Algonquin College community, however, he is also remembered as the coach of Pembroke’s Junior A Lumber Kings. After his own 125-game career in the NHL, he purchased the Lumber Kings and, as their coach, led them to five consecutive league championships from 2007 to 2011, including a National Championship. Even now, he remains a generous supporter of the College, helping establish a student bursary at the Pembroke Campus.

John Ruddy – Honorary Degree

Executive Chairman, Trinity Development Group

Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence Convocation Ceremony

June 23, 2021, 10am-11:30am

Born and raised in Ottawa, John Ruddy heads one of Canada’s leading real estate developers. Trinity’s portfolio of retail shopping centres and mixed-use properties spans nearly 30 years and stretches from the Maritimes to Alberta. That includes local projects such as South Keys, Lansdowne Park, and LeBreton Flats. But he is also known for giving back to the community whether as the man who restored CFL football in Ottawa or led a $25-million fundraising campaign for the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health.

Steve Paikin – Honorary Degree

Host of TVO’s The Agenda

Faculty of Arts, Media and Design and Language Institute Convocation Ceremony

June 23, 2021, 10am-11:30am

A Hamilton native, Steve Paikin is a Renaissance man when it comes to media. In a career stretching back nearly 40 years he has done it all: newspapers, radio, television, documentaries, books, podcasts, and even Twitter. He joined TVO in 1992, hosting or co-hosting public affairs shows, but is best known as the ever-insightful, always-articulate host of TVO’s The Agenda. Over the years, he has conducted tens of thousands of interviews on everything from politics and economics to culture and technology.

Roberta Jamieson – Honorary Degree

CEO and President, Indspire

School of Business Convocation Ceremony

June 23, 2021, 1pm-2:30pm

Roberta Jamieson is a Mohawk woman of many firsts.  Born on the Six Nations of the Grand River, she was the first Indigenous woman in Canada to earn a law degree, the first woman to be elected chief of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, the first woman Ombudsman of Ontario, and the first non-parliamentarian appointed as an ex-officio member of a House of Commons Committee. But whatever the role, whether as a lawyer, businesswoman, or mediator, she’s sought to better the lives of indigenous people.

Brian Perkin – Honorary Degree

Owner, Lake 88.1 FM

Perth Campus Convocation Ceremony

June 23, 2021, 5pm-6:30pm

In his 42-year career, Brian Perkin has done pretty much everything there is to do in radio – from announcer, music director and news reporter to salesman, program director, and operations manager – at stations across Ontario. For the last 14 years, he’s been the owner and operator of Lake 88.1 FM in Perth. The station enjoys a large and loyal audience serving residents and businesses in the Perth, Smiths Falls, and Carleton Place region, including cottage country. He attributes that loyalty to the station’s local focus.

Joe Thottungal – Honorary Degree

Owner and Founder, Coconut Lagoon and Thali

School of Hospitality and Tourism Convocation Ceremony

June 23, 2021, 3 pm.-4:30pm

Joe Thottungal has been at the forefront of the Ottawa restaurant industry for 17 years. Owner and founder of two local restaurants, Coconut Lagoon and Thal, he was named Ottawa Chef of the Year in 2004. He has won top prizes at the Canadian Culinary Championships, including the Gold Medal in 2016. He has also earned the prestigious Certified Chef de Cuisine designation. Most recently, he was instrumental in creating Food for Thought, an organization that provides hot meals to those in need in Ottawa.

The Convocation ceremonies will be available for viewing online at

For more information and interview requests, please contact the Algonquin College Communications department.

Media Contacts:

Chris Lackner
Communications Manager
Algonquin College
Phone: 613-727-4723 ext. 2091
[email protected]

Sara-Lynne Levine
Communications Officer
Algonquin College
[email protected]


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