Grads move to next leg of life


Lakehead University graduates are about to embark on another life adventure.
"I'm excited to graduate finally and get on with my career," says Lucas Bauer, who echoed the sentiments of most students as they collected their diplomas at the Lakehead University convocation ceremony Saturday morning.
The Thunder Bay Community Auditorium was again filled to capacity with graduating students, university faculty and families.
Bauer's father, Frederick, was one of the hundreds attending the ceremony.
"His mom and I are very proud of him and how hard he worked," said the elder Bauer.
"He worked very hard through university and it shows."
The hard work payed off as Lucas Bauer earned the Dean Braun Medal for highest achiever, the same medal won by his father Frederick in 1985 at his graduation.
"He is the reason I went into accounting,'' Lucas said of his father.
During the ceremony, Liz McWeeny was honoured with the title of Fellow of the University for her support and efforts to create bursaries for Lakehead University students, and for her and her husband Richard Buset's involvement in establishing the William H. Buset Centre for Music and Visual Arts.
Richard Wagamese was conferred with a doctor of letters by president Brian Stevenson and chancellor Derek H. Burney.
Wagamese gave the convocation address and sent a message to graduates to read, listen and learn everything that they can.
Education graduate Jenessa Ferguson sais she anticipates an exciting future.
"Oh my goodness, its been such an amazing ride,'' said Ferguson.
"I can't believe we are finally here today.
"We been through so much and everything has kind of paid off right now, so we're super excited to see what the future has in store for us,'' she said.
Classmate Alex Pontello is just as excited.
"I'm happy to be finally finished,'' said Pontello.
"I feel that I have accomplished a lot and I'm excited to start my future," she said.
The afternoon ceremony, also at the Auditorium, was packed as well, and the spotlight shone on former Ontario premier Bob Rae who was conferred with a doctor of laws.
Former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci gave the afternoon convocation address.