Ontario Recognizes Exceptional Contributions to Colleges

Ontario Recognizes Exceptional Contributions to Colleges

Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Premier’s Awards for College Graduates honours important contributions that strengthen economy and improve lives

November 29, 2021

Colleges and Universities

Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  3. Related Topics

TORONTO – The Ontario government is recognizing college graduates for contributing to the growth of the province’s economy and improving lives through the Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Premier’s Awards for College Graduates.

Today, Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities presented the Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award to four exceptional individuals who have made lasting and meaningful differences to the college system.

“I would like to extend my deepest congratulations to these leaders who have shown commitment and promoted excellence to advance Ontario’s world-class college system,” said Minister Dunlop. “When individuals act as ambassadors in this way, they not only support students, colleges and local communities, but the economic strength of the entire province.”

The 2021 Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipients are:

  • Ann Buller, former President and CEO of Centennial College
  • Daniel J. Patterson, former President of Niagara College
  • Fred Gibbons, former President and CEO of Northern College
  • Judith Morris, former President and CEO of Lambton College

Earlier this month, Ontario also held the annual Premier’s Awards for College Graduates which recognize graduates from seven categories who have made outstanding social and economic contributions to society. On November 18, nine outstanding college graduates who have made significant contributions to the province were honoured.

The 2021 Premier’s Awards for College recipients are:

  • Massi Basiri from Conestoga College for Business
  • Meti Basiri from Conestoga College for Business
  • Baldev Mutta from Humber College for Community Services
  • Michelle John from Sheridan College for Community Services
  • Nadia George from Georgian College for Creative Arts & Design
  • Michael Nolan from Algonquin College for Health Sciences
  • Stacey Jackson from Sault College for Technology
  • Melissa Phelan from St. Lawrence College for Apprenticeship
  • Adebola Adefioye from Seneca for Recent Grad

“I would like to congratulate this year’s recipients of the Premier’s Awards for outstanding college graduates. Your efforts and innovation have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and resilience needed to strengthen Ontario’s economy,” said Premier Doug Ford. “Your incredible contributions are improving the lives of people in your local communities, our province and throughout the world.”

“With the unprecedented backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, these leaders are finding solutions to unique challenges,” said Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities. “Their achievements range from handling mental health crises and demand for emergency services to removing barriers to postsecondary education and employment for underrepresented Ontarians.”

“These award winners and nominees are a tribute to the phenomenal success of our colleges and our college graduates,” said Linda Franklin, President and CEO of Colleges Ontario. “They illustrate how college education is pivotal to the strength of our province, especially during these challenging times.”

For a full list of the 2021 Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Awards and Premier’s Awards recipients, see Backgrounder.

Quick Facts

  • The Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 2005 to recognize those who have made enduring contributions to Ontario’s college system throughout their career.
  • The Premier’s Awards for College Graduates launched in 1992 to mark the 25th anniversary of Ontario’s college system. The province partners with Colleges Ontario to administer the awards.
  • Award recipients are chosen from nominations submitted by Ontario’s 24 public colleges. The recipients must demonstrate outstanding achievement related to their college experience and have made a significant contribution to their communities.
  • In reporting year 2019-20, approximately 85.5% of Ontario college graduates were employed within six months of graduating, and 91.1% of employers were satisfied or very satisfied with the graduates they hired.

Related Topics

Education and Training

Learn about Ontario’s early years, education and training systems. Includes information on child care, elementary schools, secondary schools, colleges, universities, skills training and financial aid. Learn more