Keyano College Newsletter
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May 20, 2011 - Campus Connection Vol. 74

In This Issue

Keyano's 2011 Convocation the biggest in College's history

Keyano's Class of 2011 celebrates!

Over 1000 guests poured into the Syncrude Sport & Wellness Centre at Keyano College on May 14 for the 45th Annual Convocation. With 190 graduates participating in the ceremony, it was the largest in the College's history.

For Laura Towle, Valedictorian of the Class of 2011, the event was the culmination of everyone's hard work. A Business Administration student, Towle encouraged her fellow graduates that they could "make a difference in the world."

The Governor General's Award went to Christopher Pottie, who completed the Environmental Technology Co-operative Diploma with a GPA of 3.94. The medal was created in 1873 by the Earl of Dufferin. It is awarded to a full-time student who has achieved the highest overall grade point average upon graduation from a post-secondary diploma level program.

The Distinguished Citizen Award went to Regional Councillor and local athlete Phil Meagher. The 2011 Wall of Fame Distinguished Alumni Award went to Frederick McDonald, CEO, Fort McKay Group of Companies, who graduated from Keyano's Steamfitter/Gasfitter Program in 1980.

Keyano and local dignitaries appreciated the graduates and encouraged them to make optimum use of their valuable Keyano education.

"We celebrate your achievement and new-found independence. This is what quality education empowers us with," said Dr. Kevin Nagel, President & CEO, Keyano College.

This year's Keyano College Convocation was webcast live, giving parents and family members the opportunity to share in the experience from anywhere in the world. Highlights of the event were also shared in real-time on Twitter, allowing those on the move the chance feel connected to the celebration of academic excellence.

Keyano Valedictorian poised for a bright future

  Laura Towle wants to be a "manager of something," after she is done with university. With a 3.97 GPA and Keyano's Class of 2011's Valedictorian she can indeed be the manager of anything she chooses.

The Business Administration student was born and raised in Fort McMurray and says she can't say enough about Keyano College.

"I just love Keyano. My original plans were to leave town but then I decided to stay and I'm so glad I did," she says.

This March, Laura was one of the five students who placed second in the Alberta Deans of Business Competition held at Red Deer College, a memory she says, she will cherish for life.

"We were all crying when they called our name," she recalls.

Keyano's family-oriented atmosphere and wonderful instructors are part of what makes the College special for Laura. She believes this incredible learning environment is something special.

Laura wishes to thank her mom, who has always been there for her through the two busy years at Keyano.

"I just want to thank her for everything," says Laura.

"I would go home after a busy day and my laundry would be done; dinner would be ready; she's the best," she adds.

Laura is headed to Grant MacEwan University to complete a Bachelor of Commerce degree.

Outgoing student organization president leaves with cherished memories

Jade Chausee is Keyano College Students' Association (KCSA) outgoing President. The group is now re-named the Students' Association of Keyano College. We caught up with her before Convocation and learned so much in five minutes.

Bachelor of Education
Best Keyano memory:
Being elected KCSA President and playing a vixen in Dracula
My Dream:
To get a novel published. Be the next J.K. Rowling and make a U.S. best-seller list.
Favourite Destination:
Waterton, AB.
Dream Vacation:
Ireland, Jamaica, Greece - (that's a world tour man!)
What will I miss the most about Keyano?
The community feel. I'm heading to the University of Lethbridge where I'll be a number now. Keyano has so many financial opportunities available -- I have a Jimmy Condon full scholarship for basketball -- played on the Huskies Women's Basketball Team and never had to worry about a thing. "Keyano is the best!"

SATP graduate advises youth to stay focused on school

  Alex Moses knows a lot about making choices. But, his most recent one to complete Keyano's Syncrude Aboriginal Trades Preparation (SATP) Program has been one of his best ones yet.

Alex, 23, graduated from the SATP program this year -- an initiative he completed at Keyano's Dorothy MacDonald Learning Centre in Fort McKay. He has joined Syncrude Canada Ltd. as a first-year apprentice and has secured a 10-year contract.

SATP is a 29-week initiative at Keyano, which saw students trained to meet, and exceed, all requirements for employment with our regional industries. Included is a four week work placement with Syncrude Canada Ltd.

"Keyano College and the SATP program are awesome. They give you a career if you just put in the effort. I give a lot of credit to my instructor Katherine Lane- Bartlett" shares Alex.

There's more good news on the way for him. Alex will be a father for the first time this summer -- the baby is due in three months.

Stay in school, advises Alex, who dropped out of high school because of bad company.

"They were trouble. I always tell everyone to stay in school and get your diploma. It's better to stay in school," he emphasizes.

Councillor and elite athlete Phil Meagher honoured as 2011 Distinguished Citizen

Keyano College is pleased to announce Councillor Phil Meagher as the recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Citizen Award.

Councillor Meagher has been an integral part of Wood Buffalo's political and educational initiatives. He is the Chief Deputy Superintendant of the Fort McMurray Public School District and has been a Councillor with the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo for over 15 years, now serving his sixth term. He has been a diligent promoter of both the region and Keyano College for almost three decades.

He was involved with Huskies Athletics for 23 years -- as a guest runner and then as a volleyball referee. An elite athlete, Meagher has had the distinction of being Alberta's top long-distance runner. He has covered a distance of more than 26 miles (42 km) often. The 1991 Canadian national marathon championships saw him secure a silver medal. To his credit, he has won 46 marathons, including seven in Red Deer and two in Edmonton. In 2009, Meagher was inducted into the Wood Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame for his stunning athletic career.

John Wilson, Chair of the Keyano College Board of Governors, says the Distinguished Citizen Award acknowledges the significant accomplishments of a member of our community.

"Phil Meagher is an incredible athlete and dynamic community member. He brings his passion for community development and individual achievement to everything he does. The Board of Governors is very pleased to honour Phil for his service to the community."

A very humble Meagher says it's all about giving back and is honoured to receive this award.

Wall of Fame - Distinguished Alumni Award - Frederick McDonald

Frederick McDonald says Keyano College is all about community. Supplied Photo
  From visual artist to CEO, Frederick McDonald is truly a Renaissance Man. His creative portfolio spells success no matter which field he delves into.

Keyano College is proud to award the 2011 Wall of Fame - Distinguished Alumni Award to McDonald, who completed the Steamfitter/Gasfitter program in 1980.

After working in the oil sands for over a decade, he backpacked around the world -- an adventure that lasted two years. His travels brought out the artist in him, and to cultivate his talents further, he attended the University of Calgary. He painted during this time and eventually completed a Masters in Fine Arts in 2002.

Born and raised in Fort McMurray, McDonald is from the Fort McKay First Nation and is the CEO of Fort McKay Group of Companies. In addition, he is the President of the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association (NAABA) Board of Directors.

His passion for the region and Keyano College is boundless.

"I can't speak enough about Keyano. The College has taught me so much. From steamfitter/gasfitter to photography courses, I have learned a lot," says McDonald.

As for being Keyano's 2011 Wall of Fame - Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, McDonald says the accolade was unexpected.

"I was happily surprised to learn I have been selected. I have great affection for Keyano College. Though I'm not about awards, it's great that my community thought about me in this way," shares McDonald.

Dr. Kevin Nagel, President & CEO, Keyano College, feels McDonald exemplifies all the best qualities of leadership and is a wonderful role model for current and future students.

"Fred has a great passion for education and is keen to collaborate to provide opportunities for young people in our region. He has great business acumen and is highly creative and I think these qualities enable him to see beyond problems and identify solutions to problems."

"Fred started as a trade person and then embraced his artistic side to become a highly acclaimed artist," Nagel continued.

"Now, as the President of NAABA, the CEO of the Fort McKay Group of Companies and the Chair of the 2011 United Way Campaign, Fred is contributing to the growth and development of the community and bringing all his past experiences to the board table. We are very proud of Fred's accomplishments and are pleased to say he started right here at Keyano College."

Fort Chipewyan Campus celebrates graduates

Keyano's Fort Chipewyan Campus celebrated its nine graduates on April 29. The milestone event was held in the Fort Chipewyan Community Hall.

Mayor Melissa Blake attended the event along with Ann Everatt, Vice President, Academic, Keyano College.

"The students were so happy; this milestone brings them closer to fulfilling their educational journey," share Sean Sommerfeld, Acting Chair, Fort Chipewyan Campus, Keyano College.

The Distinguished Service Award went to Maureen Clarke, who has been with the College for over 30 years.

Presenting Fort Chipewyan's Class of 2011: L-R:Danielle Tuccaro, Corrie Marcel, Carmen Cardinal, Justine Antoine, Carrie Vermillion and Derek Courtoreille.

30 years of developing relationships and building community...
That's worth celebrating!

Can you put a value on relationships? Absolutely! Friendships, partnerships and associations with community members, businesses, organizations and industry have raised an estimated $36 million in donations and sponsorship for Keyano College with funds directly impacting students in one form or another.

For 30 years the Keyano College Foundation has been instrumental in every aspect of the development of the College and has had a major impact on student success. Funds raised by the Foundation through charitable donations and special events have provided scholarships, bursaries, hot lunch programs, career fairs and emergency funds which help attract and retain students. As students pursue their dreams and academic aspirations their success translates into a benefit for the region as a whole. Their newfound skills and talents ripple out to build a better community for all.

Keyano College is extremely fortunate. It has a reputation that has been honed and finessed for many, many years. Since 1981 the Keyano Foundation has aligned with the goals of the College, sharing the vision with donors, nurturing relationships, and building partnerships. Together with our strong network, the Foundation has assisted us to expand and renew infrastructure, add new programs and build a strong community College that celebrates arts and culture, supports social and community development and provides a locally trained workforce.

As the Keyano College Foundation commemorates its 30th Diamond Anniversary, it is also celebrating the region as a whole and the success made possible working in harmony with local industry, government and business. This theme will be threaded throughout this year's fundraising and special events, such as the Jewel of the North Golf Classic presented by ESS First North Catering on June 4 and the Romancing the Stone Gala presented by ATB Financial on November 5, and will celebrate our past, present and future partnerships.

Dale Unruh, Chair, Keyano Foundation Board of Directors has been with the organization for eight years. He says, "The Keyano Foundation is managed by a highly successful team under the direction of the Board. For 30 years we have been actively engaged in connecting business and community members to the students. The result is evident in every classroom - in any one of the College's campuses and learning centres."

"We align ourselves with the needs of our community. Keyano College is the educator of choice in this region," explains Cindy Amerongen, Vice President, External Relations, Keyano College.

"Our donors and supporters know they have a direct impact on the success of student programs. Successful students mean educated and skilled employees, dedicated community builders and strong future leaders - a vital return on their investment!"

And that's worth celebrating!

Editorial Board:

Publisher - Russell Thomas
Editor - Heather Rice
Writer - Kiran Malik-Khan
Photographer - Sean McLennan

For additional story ideas or to submit a story
please contact Kiran at

Campus Connection reserves the right to edit submissions.

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