The best way to sell Mohawk College to prospective students, employers, funders and donors?
Tell them about remarkable Mohawk alumni.
Last night, we celebrated eight grads who received Mohawk Alumni of Distinction awards. The awards recognize graduates for outstanding career achievements and community contributions. This year, we honoured:
- Ava Green
- Sharon Charters
- Emily Baynes
- Bronko Jazvac
- Ray Adamyk
- Anthony Frisina
- Brent Kinnaird, and
- Paul Armstrong.
Every one of our recipients delivered heartfelt speeches that reflected on how what they did at Mohawk launched their careers. All of our distinguished alumni also talked about the importance of giving back to the community.
Thanks to the Alumni Association for establishing a student scholarship or bursary named for each of our recipients. To date, the association has established 98 scholarship and bursaries totalling $49,000.
I want to thank our Alumni Relations team for making this a special night for our recipients along with their proud family and friends. Thank you Kelly Dunham, Meaghan Drury, Kristy Ryerson, Michele Daigle and Wendy Makey.
I also want to thank Kate McKenna, a past Alumni of Distinction recipient who served as our Master of Ceremonies. Kate, together with her mom and Mohawk professor Sue Prestedge, received Alumni of Distinction Awards in 2011.
Here are my brief remarks (always best to be brief when you’re the one standing between guests and dinner).
“Good evening everyone and thank you Kate.
It’s great to see that being a master of ceremonies is a family affair at Mohawk College.
Your mom did an outstanding job as MC at my installation ceremony last month. Sue also interviewed me during our annual President’s Breakfast back in August. So I know we’re in very capable hands.
I’m closing in on my first 90 days on the job. I’ve loved every minute. Mohawk is blessed with outstanding talent in our students and alumni, our faculty and staff, and our college partners.
Two weeks ago, we had our Fall Convocation ceremony.
It was my first in what I hope will be many, many ceremonies.
We had the privilege to congratulate and shake the hands of about a thousand freshly minted grads.
When we looked out into the audience, we saw proud family and friends. We have the same view here tonight.
I was excited for our new grads because a world of possibilities and opportunities awaits. I’m quite confident that we’ll be honoring some of those graduates at future Alumni of Distinction dinners.
While we’re celebrating eight remarkable Mohawk alumni tonight, we’re not going to stop talking about you any time soon.
The best way to sell Mohawk to prospective donors, funders and employers is to tell them about our graduates.
When we’re asked why they should invest in scholarships, bursaries and campus renewal projects, we’re going to talk about you. You’re going to be their return on investment.
We’re going to talk about distinguished alumni who lead and grow organizations. Alumni who start their own companies, create jobs and build prosperity. Alumni who inspire and mentor and advocate for others.
Alumni who define and deliver on Mohawk’s vision of prosperous communities and transformed lives.
Mohawk contributes in many ways to the prosperity of the communities we proudly serve.
And like those communities, our strength is people. Our team of faculty and staff. More than 22 thousand full-time, part-time and apprenticeship students. And our Mohawk alumni – more than 100 thousand strong and future ready.
I look forward to telling your stories over and over again.
So congratulations Ava and Sharon. Emily and Bronko. Ray and Anthony. Brent and Paul.
We’re proud, grateful…but not at all surprised…at what you’ve accomplished in your careers and contributed to our communities.
Enjoy the celebration and the well-deserved honours.”