President & CEO of United Way Toronto Susan McIsaac Delivers Convocation Address
Belleville, Ontario, June 8, 2012 – At the 45th Annual Convocation Ceremony on Friday, June 8th beginning at 10 a.m., Loyalist College proudly presented 410 diplomas, advanced diplomas, and certificates in recognition of the academic accomplishments of students in the School of Biosciences and the School of Human Studies. The Convocation Ceremony was the third of four, recognizing a total of 1,956 Loyalist graduates.
The Convocation address was delivered by Susan McIsaac, President and CEO of United Way Toronto, who began her career in fundraising at Loyalist College. Ms. McIsaac is a widely recognized leader with more than two decades of experience in the non-profit sector. A senior executive with United Way since 1998, Ms. McIsaac is a key architect of the organization’s strategic transformation, from trusted fundraiser to a community mobilizer and catalyst for change. By directly aligning United Way’s annual fund development to its community impact agenda, Ms. McIsaac helped to increase campaign revenue to $115 million in 2011 from $58 million in 1998.
“I’m deeply honoured to be back at Loyalist College to share such a special moment with all of you,” said Ms. McIsaac. “This really is an incredible time to be a new graduate. The choices before you, the options you have for connecting your skills and your passion to your daily work are endless. Our world today is somehow both bigger and smaller than ever before. Technology has brought us closer together. Innovation has taken us to places we’ve only dreamed of.
As our world has become more dynamic, the challenges we face have become more complex. Our issues are multi-faceted, multi-sectorial, and both global and local at the same time. Individual lives are affected by corporate decisions. Stock markets are impacted by labour action in foreign countries and political realities are influenced by public protests and social media. The only certainty we can feel is that the world is unpredictable and that we will be surprised by what tomorrow brings.
What role must we play to make the world a better place for our cities, our neighborhoods, and our families? The values that guide us to serve others are simple but profound:
- A belief that what unites people is far more powerful than what divides us;
- An understanding that as long as some of us are struggling to get by, none of us can truly thrive;
- And a firm conviction that when we come together we can accomplish great things.
The responsibility for our futures does not reside in one sector or with a small handful of thought-leaders. There is a role for each and every one of us. In my humble opinion, there is a particularly important role for the not-for-profit sector.
All of us, no matter where our career takes us, can do something to serve our community. Whatever field you choose, you have an equally important contribution to make. The call to service isn’t just about what we do with our vocation; it’s also about what we do with our time. Volunteering is one of the greatest acts of philanthropy a person can perform. It embodies the very best of community values, like compassion and dedication, to our collective success. I urge you to give your time and talents to building a strong community.
Our Governor General has challenged us to build a smart and caring nation. As you think about where your path will take you next, please also think about what you will do to help build that nation. Not only because our country needs you. But, because your decision to serve will be one of the most rewarding choices you make. Wherever your path takes you, I wish you all the best.”
In appreciation of her memorable address to the graduating class of 2012, Ms. McIsaac was presented with an Honorary Diploma in Human Studies. This academic tribute recognizes her extensive experience in the non-profit sector, her passion and advocacy as a community leader, and her leadership in the exceptional success and contributions of the United Way of Greater Toronto organization.
Loyalist College prepares students for a rewarding career by combining rigorous academic standards with hands-on training from industry experts. Programs range from apprenticeships and certificates to diplomas and post-graduate studies. Loyalist offers more than 60 full-time programs and 77 university transfer agreements around the world. The best testament to the College’s value is from students, 97 percent of whom say they would recommend Loyalist to a friend. Loyalist is committed to helping students find great jobs, as well as supporting and enhancing the economic and social development of all individuals in its communities.
(L-R) Loyalist Board Chair Stuart Wright presents United Way Toronto President and CEO Susan McIsaac with an Honorary Diploma in Human Studies, in appreciation of her memorable address to the graduating class of 2012
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