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Friday, June 18, 11am and 3pm

Camosun’s college-wide graduation celebrations take place Friday, June 18, at 11am – 12:30pm and 3pm – 4:30pm in the gymnasium at the Interurban campus’ Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, 4461 Interurban Rd.

Media are invited to attend.

Program highlights

  • Morning Ceremony—11am to 12:30pm
    Featuring graduates from: School of Arts & Science, School of Business and Centre for Sport & Exercise Education
  • Afternoon Ceremony—3 to 4:30pm
    Featuring graduates from: School of Access and Department of Aboriginal Education & Community Connections, School of Health & Human Services, School of Trades & Technology

11am / 3pm Celebrations begin with the traditional procession of Our Culture Matters drummers

11:20 / 3:20 President Kathryn Laurin addresses graduates

11:25 / 3:25 Keynote speaker Brian Price: Olympic gold medalist, champion coxswain of the Canadian Sr. Men’s 8 rowing crew and childhood cancer survivor, Price believes there is a champion in each of us, inspiring us to continually strive for success in all aspects of life

Presentation of awards

  • 11:45 Distinguished Alumni Award, recognizing outstanding service and achievement in career and community
    Mr. Arthur Vickers Technical Arts, Carpentry—1971; Journeyman Carpenter, Interprovincial Qualification
  • 3:50 Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Medallion for top academic achievement in a 2-year diploma program:
    Jesse W. Johnston, GPA 8.97 (out of possible 9.0), Diploma in Mechanical Engineering Technology, 2009

Award recipient bios...


  • 11:50 / 3:55 Graduates proceed across the stage to be acknowledged by their dean and President Laurin

Since admitting its first students in 1971, Camosun College has been an important player in Vancouver Island’s post-secondary education sector, conferring academic and trades credentials to over 40,000 people. Nine out of 10 graduates stay in the region to live and work. Altogether, the local economy annually receives roughly $816M in income due to the past and present efforts of the college.


Karla Sandwith
Marketing and Communications Strategist, Camosun College
tel: 250–370–4235
cell: 250–896–9667

2010 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient: Arthur Vickers

Artist. Carpenter. Storyteller. Arthur Vickers is a renowned contemporary First Nations artist and this year’s recipient of the Camosun College Distinguished Alumni Award.

Vickers’ works of art are internationally sought-after. The Arthur Vickers Shipyard Gallery in Cowichan Bay, on Vancouver Island, displays many of his pieces inspired by his love of storytelling and the people and the natural beauty of Canada’s rugged west coast.

Born in Northern British Columbia, his mother was of English and Canadian heritage while his father was of Heiltsuk and Tsimshian First Nations descent. He spent his youth as a fisherman, graduated from Camosun College in 1971 as a journeyman carpenter, and today makes his living as a “visual poet.”
Often described as a “modern day renaissance man,” Vickers says much of his insights today evolved from his childhood. As a boy he travelled up and down BC’s coast with his Ya'as (grandfather), a canoe carver and fisherman. They would often stop on Porcher Island, just south of Prince Rupert, to work on the boat and spend time amongst the Scandinavian craftsmen who were building boats by hand. Their use of red and yellow cedar materials would later become very important to Vickers and his artwork.

Travelling with his grandfather taught Vickers the value of protecting the environment and caring for others less fortunate. He always held these values close to his heart and has been deeply involved and supportive of environmental and social initiatives throughout his life.

Today, he lives in Cowichan Bay and honours and celebrates his ancestors, his community and the natural landscape by telling stories through many mediums: sketches, prints, gold relief, sculptural works of glass, granite and gold, and wood carvings. He also designed and created the “Leadership Desk” as a gift to the office of the Premier of British Columbia to help BC’s leaders pause and contemplate their great responsibilities to the people of the province and to be kept in perpetuity for generations to come. Vickers also designed and constructed the Eagle Aerie Gallery in Tofino, BC for his brother Roy Henry Vickers (completed in 1986) – a project he considers his greatest accomplishment to date.

Arthur Vickers has been recognized for his many contributions to British Columbia and its people over the years. In 2008 he received the Order of British Columbia for outstanding achievement and distinction in his field. Other accolades include the Order of St. John for his service to humanity and an Honourary Doctorate in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, 2006.

“Camosun College is extremely honoured to recognize Arthur Vickers as our 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient for his outstanding contributions in his field, his lifetime dedication to his profession and his true commitment to his community,” says Camosun College President Kathryn Laurin.

Governor General’s Collegiate Bronze Medallion recipient: Jesse William Johnston

The 2009/10 Governor General Collegiate Bronze Medal recipient is Jesse W. Johnston, who graduated in September, 2009 with his diploma in Electronics Engineering Technology, achieving a near-perfect GPA of 8.97, out of a possible 9.0.

Johnston knew by the end of grade 11 exactly what he wanted to do. He liked his machine shop classes at high school, he seemed to have a knack for physics, and calculus just “clicked” for him. A year of working with heavy machinery after graduating from Belmont High—a job Johnston loved—helped clinch the decision to pursue a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering Technology at Camosun College. Johnston considered attending BCIT, which has a similar program, but Camosun’s reputation for quality instruction easily convinced him to stay in Victoria. He attributes his academic success in part to the smaller class sizes, the hands-on learning, and the personal approach from instructors who are always willing to help students with their work. When asked to comment on Johnston’s academic success, Instructor Russ Rook says, “Jesse's GPA pretty much speaks for itself. Jesse seems to have no problem mastering and applying engineering concepts, and he is a model student. His work is neat, comprehensive, and accurate, and he is a bright student who is an absolute pleasure to teach.”

Johnston hopes to continue his engineering studies, possibly bridging into Mechanical Engineering at UVic or another university. His long-term goal is to design heavy equipment for industrial use. Johnston’s message to other students is, “Everyone at Camosun is there to help—your dreams are attainable if you put your mind to it.”
The Governor General’s collegiate bronze medal is awarded to the student who achieves the highest overall average upon graduation from a diploma-level, post-secondary program.

Last updated: June 11, 2010 10:59 am

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