New graduates of Saskatchewan Polytechnic celebrated their hard work Friday as graduation ceremonies got underway at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre.
Graduates from across Saskatchewan and outside the province, along with students from countries such as China, Vietnam, and India crossed the stage to receive their diplomas in a variety of educational programs including construction, health sciences, nursing, hospitality and adult basic education. Nearly 900 students were invited to attend the event.
Alumnus Derek McGuin was recognized Friday with a Governor General’s Academic Medal for posting the highest grade average in the Prince Albert campus Adult 12 program. McGuin, a father of three, finished his Grade 12 programming last year with a 91.4 per cent average.
McGuin said he had a lot of support from his wife, friends and family, and was shocked to find out he had achieved the highest overall average. He said he’s now interested in working toward a career in mechanical engineering.
“It was years since high school, and I’ve done the real life thing, and I just got tired of the dead-end jobs and I wanted to provide more for my family,” McGuin told paNOW of his decision to go back to school. “I’ve had big ideas that I wanted to be able to put on paper, and I needed to go someplace to get the tools to do that … basically, I just kept my head down, did my homework, and probably the reason why it went by so quick and I didn’t really notice is that it was a lot of fun.”
Local entrepreneur Frank Dunn received an honorary diploma from Saskatchewan Polytechnic for his work in the community. Dunn, a former competitive diver and an alternate on the 1976 Olympic team, coached diving and gymnastics in Prince Albert and started the Frank Dunn Triathlon in 1982, one of the longest-running triathlons in Western Canada. He received the Legacy Award from the Prince Albert and District Chamber of Commerce in 2015.
During his speech, Dunn got down on the stage to bow to the crowd of graduates and encouraged them to work hard and learn from every job they have.
“Every job is important,” Dunn said. “Take every job and own it and love it.”
Saskatchewan Polytechnic president Dr. Larry Rosia encouraged graduates to never stop learning and embrace every opportunity.
“Enjoy your moment,” he said.
On Twitter: @CharleneTebbutt
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