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Alumni News

DeBlois and Annable

Congratulations Class of 2015

June 18, 2015

Honorary degrees bestowed on Oscar-nominated alumni

More than 7,000 graduates crossed the stage during 11 ceremonies this week as part of Sheridan’s annual Convocation ceremonies from June 8 to 11. In addition, four individuals, including two alumni, were presented with honorary degrees during the ceremonies which took place at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga:

Hazel McCallion, former Mayor of Mississauga

Ignat (Iggy) Kaneff, CEO and Chairman, Kaneff Group of Companies

Dean DeBlois, Animation Director, DreamWorks Studio

Graham Annable, Animation Director, LAIKA Studio

Sheridan animation alumni Dean DeBlois (1990) and Graham Annable (1991) are 2015 Academy Award nominees for Best Animated Feature – DeBlois for How to Train Your Dragon 2, and Annable for The Boxtrolls.

DeBlois and Annable welcomed the chance to meet Sheridan’s most recent arts graduates during the ceremony, recalling the impact of their own college experience. “Coming to Sheridan was a huge revelation to me. I was surrounded by people who shared my obsession for comics and animation,” said Annable, who advised new graduates to focus on doing what they love. “I cannot think of a better way to navigate through your life.”

DeBlois advised the 2015 graduating class to stay connected with their former classmates on the road to building a successful career. “Partner with the people around you; they are the future of the industry. I am lucky enough to have worked with very talented people - many from Sheridan - who have risen to the top of their game.”

A variety of distinguished speakers also addressed the graduates over the course of Convocation week, including 1982 Business alumnus and Sheridan lead donor, Randy Pilon, President and CEO, Virox Technologies Inc. Other speakers included Stefan Danis, CEO and Chief Talent Officer, Mandrake; Kim Davidson, President and CEO, Side Effects Software; Melanie Egan, Head of the Craft Department, Harbourfront Centre; Michelle Pommells, President and CEO, Home Suite Hope; Laura Sky, Executive Director, Skyworks Charitable Foundation; Kirsty Duncan, MP for Etobicoke North; Akhilesh Mishra, Consul General of India; and Alex Ciraco, President of AC Consulting.

Sheridan also honoured some of its own with the Professor Emeritus designation, which is awarded to retired faculty members who have shown exemplary performance. This year’s recipients are Mary Kanko, Pilon School of Business; Anne Hartley, Faculty of Applied Health and Community Studies; and William Costigane, Faculty of Applied Science and Technology.

Hartley is a member of Sheridan’s Sports Injury Management Program’s first graduating class in 1975 and the college’s first female head athletic therapist. Upon accepting the honour, Hartley encouraged new graduates to look ahead with optimism. “Thirty years from now, you should not look back and see the opportunities that you missed. You should see the interesting journey that you made for yourself. Start tomorrow.”

Click here to read advice from all our Convocation 2015 alumni speakers.

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