Brescia ackknowledges the achievements of its graduates and graduands with a two-day celebration


London, ON – Brescia University College   acknowledged the achievements of its graduates and graduands in a two-day   celebration this past weekend. On Sunday June 12, 2011 Brescia held its 89th   Baccalaureate ceremony and first-ever Magisterial service at St. Peter’s   Basilica. On Monday June 13, 2011 Brescia students participated in an Alumnae   Luncheon and outdoor Awards Ceremony before processing to Convocation at   Western’s Alumni Hall.

The Baccalaureate and Magisterial Ceremony

The Baccalaureate Service is a long-standing tradition at Brescia University   College and provides Brescia students, faculty, staff, and family members a   chance to celebrate the success of its graduands before they convocate the next   day. This year for the first time Brescia also honoured graduate students in the   same ceremony. The service incorporated students who had earned post-graduate   MSc degrees in Foods and Nutritional Sciences, so the name Magisterial was added   to the ceremony. (A ceremony relating to, or characteristic of a Masters   student.)

Laura Vandervet, a graduate from Brescia’s Masters in Foods and Nutritional   Sciences program, was Brescia’s first-ever Magisterial speaker. Laura may not   have realized the legacy she was leaving behind as she stood at the lectern to   speak.  She spoke of the Masters students’ collective experiences and ended on   an inspirational note, “As women with strong voices and strong values we are in   a unique position to support those who do not have the same resources we do.   What we’ve learned here at Brescia is that in spite of our differences we are   all connected. We leave here today bound by our shared experiences – accepting   the fact that in order to see change in the world we must be leaders.”

Next to speak at the service was Natalie Symons. Natalie was the Class of 2011 Valedictorian. Natalie paid   homage to her time at Brescia by outlining the challenges that every student   faces and the ‘band-aids’ that Brescia provided along the way. She also   encouraged her classmates to change the world, saying, “Although we have   successfully completed another chapter in our life, there is still much work to   be done. We are graduating into a world filled with opportunities but also faced   with challenges. These challenges are complex in nature. Globally, poverty, war,   and disease are at the roots of many battles our generation will be called on to   fight. The good news is we leave Brescia privileged with the power and potential   to make changes so that one day we too may see our own children walk across a   stage such as this one.”

The Baccalaureate and Magisterial service was also the time that Dr. John   Mitchell, Academic Dean, announced the Honor Society Members. They are: Alysha   Christina Canton; Kelly-Ann Coxson; Kelly Louise Ferguson; Jemma Hunter;   Rhiannon Elizabeth Lane; Elizabeth Catherine Leasa; and Stephanie Ouwehand.

Convocation Day Activities

On Monday June 13, 2011 the celebrations continued with a luncheon hosted by   the Alumnae Association that welcomed over 500 students, parents, and friends.   It was followed by an outdoor Awards Ceremony at Brescia University College.

The Awards Ceremony recognized those students who were top-achievers in their   chosen areas of study. The Brescia University College Council of Trustees Gold   Medal was awarded to Kathleen Larion. Kathleen had the highest standing in an   Honors Program and she is currently waitlisted for a position at medical school.   The Merici Award in Arts and Social Science was bestowed upon Nadia Maiolino.   Nadia had the highest standing in an Honors Program in Arts and Social Science   and earlier this year she attended the Ontario Universities Undergraduate Thesis   Conference, where she gave a very well- received talk. The Sister Felicitas   Award was awarded to Lyndsay Schouten for having the highest academic standing   in a three-or-four program. She was described by her professors as thoughtful   and challenging in her responses to her academic studies. The Foods and   Nutrition Award went to Lisa Mannik. Lisa already has a Masters degree. In   addition, she has done volunteer work with the Alzheimer’s Society, on a program   called “Food for Thought.” Finally the first-ever Masters in Science Leadership   Award, presented by Dr. Alicia Garcia, was given to Lauren Fleming. Lauren was   nominated for the award based upon feedback from peers, faculty, and internship   preceptors. She is described as a supportive leader both in academic and   workplace environments.

The Awards Ceremony concluded with the presentation of Brescia University   College’s Award for Excellence in Teaching earned this year by Dr. Leslie Janes.   As a professor at Brescia for almost a decade Leslie was described by Dr. John   Mitchell, Academic Dean, as a mentor and ‘role model.’ John says, “Dr. Janes   continues to make a truly special contribution to the lives of our students and   to the vibrancy of our Psychology program.”

Following the Awards Ceremony, Brescia’s graduates and graduands processed as   a group to Convocation held at Western’s Alumni Hall. The procession was led by   bagpiper, Eileen Robertson, followed by Brescia’s Registrar, Marianne Simm, and   the 105 graduating students. All walked down Brescia Lane, cheered on by proud   parents, faculty, and staff members, and friends.

As Dr. Colleen Hanycz, Brescia’s Principal, wished the graduates and   graduands well she left them with a final parting word, “More than anything, I   believe that through the enriched and close-knit environment you have   experienced at Brescia, you have all learned those critical thinking skills that   will be so valued wherever life leads you. You know how to think. You know how   to read. You are good at reasoning and forming logical responses to problems and   issues. You have developed strong analytical skills. You are good speakers and   know the need for strong inter-personal relationships. And most of you have   already learned how important it is to nurture the world around us through   volunteer activities. Giving back is such an important issue when it comes to   creating a successful tomorrow.”

For more information about Brescia’s Baccalaureate and Magisterial services   or the Awards Ceremony please contact Jocelyn Lagerquist, Communications,   Marketing & External Relations Officer at 519-432-8353 extension 28280 or


Brescia University College, Canada’s premier women’s university college,   is affiliated with The University of Western Ontario. The 1,100 women registered   as either full- or part-time students at Brescia study a wide variety of   subjects in Arts, Social Sciences, and Foods & Nutrition in an empowering,   compassionate, student-centred, and invigorating environment. Degrees are   granted by Western. The Catholic College welcomes students from all backgrounds   and values diversity. For more information, please visit