March 07, 2018

Belleville, Ontario, March 7, 2018 – On March 1, at the annual Loyalist College Undergraduate Awards Ceremony, 296 students were recognized with 352 awards, worth a total value of close to $204,000.

Many of the awards were provided through The Loyalist College Foundation, established in 1995 to provide leadership in meeting the goals for long-term development and fundraising to benefit Loyalist students and programs. Other funds were donated by individuals, businesses and community organizations.

Recipients were congratulated by Loyalist College Board of Governors Chair Bob Forder, and Loyalist College President & CEO Ann Marie Vaughan, who remarked that, “Tonight’s recognition is not only about financial support – it is about the important role each and every one of you plays in the network of generosity, encouragement and support which allows our students to achieve their goals. When our students succeed, we all succeed!”

Board Chair Forder added, “I want to thank the many donors who make this program possible, and in particular – the work of the College Foundation Board.”

Vice-Chair of the College Foundation Board Donna Gowthorpe and Honorary Chair Wilf Wilkinson presented a number of awards during the evening.

Receptions were also held for presentations of the Indigenous Post-Secondary Education & Training Bursary, as well as the First Generation Bursary, provided by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. Recipients of the 50th Anniversary Returning Student Awards were also recognized on March 6 at an event in The Parrott Centre. These awards were funded by a generous donation from the John M. & Bernice Parrott Foundation.

The following six new awards/bursaries were presented this year:

CPA Ontario Student Award – This $250 award was presented to Samantha Corney, a second-year Accounting student concurrently enrolled in the Accounting – UOIT BCOM Stream who achieved the highest GPA during the first three semesters of the program.

Farzana Wahidy Premier’s Award – Established in recognition of Loyalist Photojournalism graduate Farzana Wahidy, winner of the 2016 Premier’s Award for Creative Arts and Design, this $1,000 award was received by Yader Guzman, a second-year Photojournalism student who has demonstrated an interest in women’s issues.

JoAnn Willits Memorial Bursary – This bursary was presented to Alexandra Gillis and Carly Mueller, female students in the second year of the Nursing Collaborative Degree with Brock University program who are seeking higher education to enrich their lives and the lives of others. This year, bursaries in the amounts of $1,000 and $500 respectively were awarded.

John Rigsby Memorial Award – Awards of $200 each were presented to Samantha Corney and Crystal Slappendel, second-year students in the Accounting program who demonstrate leadership qualities and distinction in class or throughout the College or community. This award was established by the family and friends of John Rigsby, former Vice-President Finance and Chief Financial Officer for Loyalist College and Treasurer of the College Foundation.

Paramedic Leadership Award – Sponsored by CUPE Local 1842 – Paramedics, this annual $500 award was presented to Brent Smeenk, a returning student in the Paramedic program who demonstrates leadership qualities and community involvement.

Specialist High Skills Major Award – Five new annual awards of $1,000 each were received by students who participated in the Specialist High Skills Major program in high school and are entering first year in a post-secondary program at Loyalist College. Recipients include Jade Elliott, Mikala Hanson, Zach King, Jared McFarlane and Robyn Waechter.

About Loyalist College

Located on more than 200 acres in the beautiful Bay of Quinte region, Loyalist College is a close-knit community where students and their success come first. Loyalist provides personalized attention in small classes, rewarding field placements and superior student services. To prepare students for in-demand careers, Loyalist offers more than 65 full-time programs; apprenticeships; and hundreds of online, distance and in-class courses, as well as opportunities for continuing education through more than 70 university transfer agreements. The College’s wide selection of advanced diplomas, diplomas and certificates aligns with market-driven disciplines including applied sciences, biosciences, building sciences, business and management studies, health sciences, human studies, justice studies, media studies, and skills and technology. In Ontario, the College’s new Digital Media Centre and The Bay of Quinte Skills Centre, which is LEED® Silver certified, are training centres of choice for students, as well as College business and industry partners. The College is a key driver of the social and economic health and prosperity of the area and contributes 5.4 percent to the Gross Regional Product. This represents an overall effect on the regional economy of $530 million annually – based on a 2014 Report by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI). For more information on the College’s Belleville and Bancroft campuses and Port Hope satellite location, visit


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Contact: Kerry Lorimer, Director, Marketing, Communications and Recruitment
Loyalist College,, 613-969-1913 ext. 2536