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June 25, 2021

Belleville, Ontario, June 25, 2021 – This week, 2,307 Loyalist College students graduated with 2,418 postsecondary credentials, including Ontario college advanced diplomas, diplomas and certificates. Their achievements were recognized at the College’s Virtual Convocation ceremonies, which also included special sessions on June 22 and June 23 for 2020 graduates whose ceremonies were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ceremonies included speeches from Pam Jolliffe, Chair of the Loyalist College Board of Governors; Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President and CEO; and Katie Iles, Cannabis Applied Science student and Class of 2021 Valedictorian.

A passionate student leader, Katie consistently goes above and beyond to make a difference with her peers and her community. As a member of Student Government and as Residence Advisor during the COVID-19 pandemic, Katie formed genuine, caring connections with students, faculty and staff alike, finding ways to support and inspire others. For her outstanding citizenship and academic achievement, Katie was the recipient of Colleges & Institutes Canada’s Paul and Gerri Charette Bursary.

On June 24, 1,214 diplomas and certificates were conferred on 1,152 Class of 2021 graduates from the Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning; School of Health, Human and Justice Studies; and School of Applied Science, Skills and Technology.          

On June 25, 1,204 diplomas and certificates were conferred on 1,155 Class of 2021 graduates from the School of Applied Science, Skills and Technology; and School of Media, Business and Access.      

In addition, 136 students from the inaugural graduating class of Loyalist College in Toronto were acknowledged during the ceremonies.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors, it is my privilege to welcome you to this day of celebration and to extend a very special welcome to you, our graduates. Convocation is a special occasion when our College community, family, friends and supporters come together to honour you and your accomplishments. While this year’s Convocation ceremonies are virtual, reflecting the unique ways in which you have had to adapt to living and learning in the midst of a global pandemic, this occasion is a momentous one in your lives.” – Pam Jolliffe, Chair of the Loyalist College Board of Governors

“Congratulations, graduates, on reaching this milestone. I commend the perseverance and commitment you have shown in pursuing your goals during the extraordinary circumstances of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. As our newest cohort of graduates at this pivotal time in history, you will be instrumental in leading Hastings Prince Edward region’s post-pandemic economic recovery, finding sustainable solutions to drive revenue, build infrastructure, and create new opportunities. When you look back on your time at Loyalist College, I hope you will be filled with a sense of pride, knowing that you achieved your educational aspirations in pursuit of a brighter future.” – Dr. Ann Marie Vaughan, Loyalist College President and CEO

“I feel honoured to be the Valedictorian of the graduating class of 2021. This year has not been easy for anyone, but each and every one of you took on a challenge and succeeded. You may have heard or seen the phrase “you’re going places” during your time at Loyalist College. In the spirit of that phrase, I’d like to share a quote from Confucius, who said, “wherever you go, go with all your heart.” I hope that all of you continue to learn, create and wholeheartedly share your passions with the world.” – Katie Iles, 2021 Cannabis Applied Science graduate and Valedictorian  

Presentation of Prestigious Awards
Kayla Lahey is the recipient of the Governor General’s Academic Medal, which recognizes exceptional academic achievement at the College. The Collegiate Bronze Medal is awarded to the student who achieves the highest overall average upon graduation from a diploma-level, postsecondary program. Kayla is a graduate of the Recreation and Leisure Services – Sports program, with an outstanding academic record and a cumulative average of 97.8%.

Achievement Awards
Other distinctions presented include the Weston Family Scholarship in the Skilled Trades. The Weston Family Foundation is a private Canadian family foundation, established in the 1950s by Willard Garfield Weston and his wife, Reta. The Scholarship was established as a pilot program at Loyalist College in 2013 and provides financial support and recognition to students in the skilled trades.

Twenty-one Weston Family Scholars graduated this year from the following programs:

Carpentry and Renovation Techniques
Matthew Kenneth Charles Dowsett 
Michael Wilson

Carpentry and Renovation Technician 
Grant Ross Burlock

Electrical Techniques
Wade Bowness          
Josiah Richard Rupke
Erik David Gordon Talbot
Autumn Marissa Grace Keegan Jacques

Electrical Engineering Technician
Kyle Christopher James Lewis          
Matthew James Newhook

Manufacturing Engineering Technician
Skyler Jakob Barker   
Quinn Dunkley         
Caeleigh Frances Von Zuben

Mechanical Techniques       
Samuel John Vallinga

Motive Power Fundamentals – Parts and Counter Personnel
Damon Barber
Michael Bradley Labossiere
Faith Anne Adella Pierce

Motive Power Technician – Service and Management     
Jeremy Engbert Cassidy

Welding and Fabrication Technician
Madison Henderson
Sherry-Lyn Nicole Wedden 

Welding Techniques
Corrado Mallia
Tyra Frantiska Simone

About Loyalist College
Ranked one of Canada’s top 50 research colleges and #1 in the country for industry research income as a percentage of total research income, Loyalist College empowers students, faculty, staff, and partners through experiential, industry cluster-based education, training and applied research programs. As Ontario’s Destination College, the College provides job-ready graduates for, and knowledge transfer to, industry and the community. Of 2018-19 graduates, 88.8 percent were employed within six months after graduation. Located on more than 200 acres in the beautiful Bay of Quinte region, the College is perfectly positioned between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Loyalist College offers more than 70 full-time diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs in biosciences, building sciences, business, community service, health and wellness, media studies, public safety, and skilled trades. Continuing education options are available through, including hundreds of online, distance and in-class courses, and through the College’s 100+ university transfer agreements. Loyalist College is a key driver of social and economic health in eastern Ontario. It contributes 3.7 percent of the Gross Regional Product, representing $382 million annually to the regional economy – based on a March 2020 report by Emsi. For more information on Loyalist College’s Belleville, Bancroft and Toronto campuses and Port Hope satellite location, visit

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Contact: Ashliegh Gehl, Coordinator, Marketing, Communications
Loyalist College,, 613-969-1913, ext. 2826