2014-15 Activity Report

Message from the Chair


I am pleased to present the Cambrian College Foundation’s 2014-15 Activity Report to Cambrian Alumni, our donors, and the community. Your continued support helps Cambrian students in so many ways, from making their education more affordable because of our scholarship and bursary program, to providing job-ready skills through updated instructional equipment.

I would like to recognize our recent past Chair, Karen Pappin and all past Directors of the Cambrian College Foundation, and to thank them for their commitment to the Board and Cambrian College. The Cambrian College Foundation has had a busy year, with some movement within the Board of Directors and staffing. We welcomed Debbi Nicholson and Eric Kannen to the Board this summer, and the Foundation welcomed Darlene Palmer as she transitioned from Director of Business Development with the College, to the new Director of Development for the Foundation. This transition has brought the Foundation and Alumni teams together, and as a result we have seen positive synergies in this new Department.

We have enjoyed working with Cambrian College’s new President, Bill Best. In his first year at Cambrian, Bill embarked upon a new strategic plan for the College that will lead the institution into 2019. The Foundation is committed to working collaboratively to deliver on those goals. Of notable mention is the Development Office’s commitment to the strong re-engagement with Cambrian Alumni, exploring simplistic approaches to making school more affordable for our students, and supporting the renewal and modernization of Cambrian’s learning spaces.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff of the Cambrian College Foundation, I am pleased to present an update on our 2014-15 accomplishments, and I encourage you to stay connected with us to see what exciting things are happening at the College as we embark on a new journey of philanthropy.


Joel Humphrey
Chair, Cambrian College Foundation

President's message


My first year at Cambrian College has been a rewarding one. I have had the pleasure of meeting thousands of people in the Sudbury community, and across the country who have a Cambrian connection.

I can tell you for certain that whether they are alumni, family members of graduates, retirees, or our business partners, they are all proud of and passionate about their Cambrian connection.

Over the course of the past year, I have had the opportunity to listen and to understand how we can continue to grow and excel as a postsecondary leader, thanks to the tremendous feedback we have received during our ambitious strategic planning process. We consulted with as many students, alumni, donors, community members, corporate partners, and staff as we could to gain their insight and support in shaping the future of Cambrian College. In total Cambrian received more than 9,500 engagements from which to build the plan that will carry us through 2019. Thank you to those of you who joined us or took the time to share your feedback.

As we strive to unlock the potential of the next generation, we will continue to look to our partners, donors, and alumni for support. Through donations, work placements, employment, program advisory committees, board and task groups, guest speakers, and mentorship, you all contribute to the caliber and quality of education offered at Cambrian College.


Bill Best
President, Cambrian College

Development Office update


I am excited to share with you the Cambrian Development Department’s 2014-15 Activity Report. The Department combines the development, alumni, and data team. This approach allows us to strategically focus on engaging alumni as supporters, stewarding the donors who have Cambrian in their giving plans, and conducting research to find new potentials for funding.

Our three goals this year have been to rebuild, renew, and realize. We worked to rebuild the development team to support Cambrian’s new Strategic Plan. We spent time renewing the energy and commitment of key stakeholders. And we realized success through a focused, outcome-driven approach to donor and alumni relations. Our donors continued to support Cambrian’s bursaries and scholarship program to assist students in financial need. Our supporters also included those partners who gave us gifts-in-kind and equipment for facility renewal.

Some highlights of the year include:

$580,000 in scholarships and bursaries were awarded to more than 800 students. These students chose Cambrian to help them achieve their educational dreams and, because of our donors, their financial pressures were lightened, which allowed them to concentrate on their academic pursuits. The awards evening was full of energy and provided an opportunity for the students and donors to come together to celebrate and commemorate.

International awards
More than $59,500 in bursaries was awarded to 52 International Students at a special dinner that brought faculty, staff, donors, and students together for an evening of celebration and academic recognition.

In addition, $38,400 was distributed in emergency bursaries to assist students who were experiencing unexpected financial hardship during their school year.

Donor luncheon
The Development Office hosted a donor advisory luncheon with President Best. Donors were encouraged to share their thoughts and experiences in not only their gift giving but all the events and new initiatives occurring at the College.

Participation by Foundation staff in the year-long strategic planning process provided the forum to bring philanthropy to the forefront of the College’s mission, vision, and values. We spoke with community partners through focus groups, met with donors, alumni, and college peers to talk about the role philanthropy plays in the future of Cambrian.

It has indeed been an exciting year and I am honoured to be a part of Cambrian College and all that it brings to our students and community. We will continue to work hard and strengthen our Foundation and alumni endeavours.

Looking forward to another great year!


Darlene Palmer
Director of Development

Statistics at a glance

Donor chart

Bursary recipient stories


Simeon Nkomezi,
Mining Engineering

Marie Tincombe-Shaw Memorial Bursary recipient

Simeon Nkomezi
My name is Simeon Nkomezi; I am a Mining Engineering Technology student at Cambrian College. I was born and raised in the Democratic Republic of Congo; a region that has seen humanitarian disasters over the last decade.

Although I grew up in a very volatile region, as a young boy I had never considered crossing the oceans to a safer place. However, after war broke out in June 2004, we fled to Burundi for safe refuge. Two months later, fire was set to the UN camp where we were staying, killing 162 people and injuring many more. We fled to safety once again and immediately applied for a second exile in Canada. To our great luck, Canada granted us permanent residency status. As I landed in Canada in December 2007, I felt peace for the first time in a long time, and today I consider myself a proud Canadian. I passed the Canadian Citizenship test in 2011 and earlier this year, officially became a Canadian citizen.

During high school, I took classes in geology and learned about plate tectonics, mineralogy, rocks, and petrology. I discovered a passion in geology, and this fuelled my decision to pursue it in college, and eventually as a career. After research, I decided Sudbury was the best place to learn about mining. I have worked hard to get good grades because I know our world today is a competitive one. I also have hopes of attending university in the future, to study Mining Engineering or Geology and I look forward to a career in mining.

When I received the Marie Tincombe-Shaw Memorial Bursary this year, it was incredibly rewarding.

Managing to pay for my education has been an ongoing challenge. I depend on OSAP and part-time work to make ends meet. So when I received the Marie Tincombe-Shaw Memorial Bursary this year, it was incredibly rewarding. It allowed me to work fewer shifts so I could focus on studying for my final exams, and it relieved a lot of stress. I am so grateful to have been the recipient of this award.


Tina Semande, Electrical Engineering

Domtar Inc. scholarship recipient

Domtar scholarship
“If I had it to do over I would have become an electrician.” That simple statement prompted major change in my life. After experiencing burn out from working in the social services field for many years, I knew I needed to pursue a different career not only for myself but for the betterment of my family. Luckily my friends and family supported my decision to return to school.

The decision to return to school was not was not an easy one however, and once I committed to the Electrical Engineering Program, there was much stress resulting from the struggle to balance course loads with work and family commitments. Further, with my family and me living in Espanola, the commute back and forth each day added a unique challenge.

Despite these challenges, I have been able to maintain a 4.0 GPA, meeting the Dean’s Honour Roll requirements throughout the past four semesters. Making my education a priority also underscores its importance for my son Michael, my strongest of encouragers. His letter to Santa this past Christmas exemplified his pride in his ability to do his part to support me in my schooling by letting Santa know, “I play quietly while Mommy does homework.” I am often able to be a role model for hard work and perseverance in school work, while teaching him the persistence that is needed to achieve a major life goal.

On behalf of all bursary recipients this year, thank you to those donors who make dreams like mine possible.

While my course work has been demanding, nothing has been more challenging than finding the financial resources to pay for my education; it is also a strong motivator to do well and complete my program. This year I was the recipient of the Domtar Inc. scholarship, and I can say that this was a much-needed financial reward and recognition for all of my hard work. This type of encouragement aids in my continued efforts to pursue a passion all while teaching my son about perseverance and the pursuit of a fulfilling future. On behalf of all bursary recipients this year, thank you to those donors who make dreams like mine possible.

Donor messages


Christopher Peach Memorial Award

Christopher Peach Memorial Award
The Cambrian College Foundation works with donors to establish bursaries to commemorate family members and friends. Arthur and Louise Peach shared their experience in establishing a memorial bursary in their son’s honour:

Christopher Peach attended and was a graduate of the Culinary Arts program at Cambrian College. Prior to this, he was also a part-time vocal student in the School of Music, participating in many musical productions and festivals in Sudbury. When Christopher died suddenly in April of 2008 at the age of 35, he had become a talented chef with a love for fine dining. He worked the kitchens at a number of top restaurants in Toronto and Oakville, including Scaramouche, Le Papillon, and Jonathan’s. He honed his creative skills in the art of French cooking as well as the French language during a year in France in the resort towns of Menerbes and Courchevel.

Chris was a philosopher, athlete, musician, and chef who embodied the wonderful attributes of caring, sensitivity, fun, and a solid work ethic.

In order to commemorate Christopher’s memory, the Peach family initiated a bursary award in his name as a reflection of his culinary, theatrical, and musical skills. Each year it is a pleasure to meet the bursary recipient at the Awards Ceremony and have the opportunity of learning from them about their studies and aspirations, and to share a little of Christopher’s life with them.

It feels good to know that a role can be played in helping students pursue their education and to go on to do something good in life.

It has also been really interesting to keep in touch with some of the bursary recipients after they have graduated and hearing about some of the great things they are doing in their career and life. The bursary in Christopher’s memory has been somewhat of a positive coming out of a negative. It feels good to know that a role can be played in helping students pursue their education and to go on to do something good in life.

Christopher PeachChris gathering wild grains and herbs; Toulon, France, March 2003


Canada BrokerLink Inc. Scholarship

BrokerLink scholarship
Cambrian College and its students benefit from the support of a number of local businesses. Canada BrokerLink (formerly Martin’s Insurance) has been one of those supporters. David Ross, Canada BrokerLink’s Sudbury Branch Manager shared why supporting students is important to the organization:

BrokerLink chose Cambrian College for this bursary many years ago in order to foster a community of support for postsecondary studies. Many of our staff over the years have studied at Cambrian, and with the evolution of our business, a post-secondary degree is essential for insurance industry candidates. We are in one respect, assisting our potential future work force, while at the same time, giving back to the community that has helped build our organization.

We also know that during their time in post-secondary studies, students carry a heavy academic load. They also carry a significant financial burden and are often reliant on family support and student loans. BrokerLink recognizes that receiving financial support is critical in their success. It allows students to devote their time to their studies, rather than working to pay for their tuition, room and board, and other expenses.

BrokerLink is thrilled to assist these students financially so that they can succeed in their endeavours.

Moreover, the greatest enjoyment of presenting this award comes out of the discussions with the annual recipient. Each student has a unique academic history, current course of study, and future ambitions for the world beyond Cambrian College, and listening to their plans and dreams is fulfilling and rewarding in and of itself. BrokerLink is thrilled to assist these students financially so that they can succeed in their endeavours.

Alumni Relations update

The Cambrian College Alumni Relations Office had an active year as we worked hard to reignite our relationship with alumni.
Cambrian Says Thanks
In October, the Alumni Office hosted the “Cambrian Says Thanks” event, bringing our alumni together to thank them for their continued support. Over 200 alumni attended the event, and guest speaker, Suzanne Bernier (Journalism ’98) of SB Crisis Consulting, shared her experiences in crisis management, namely, the 1998 ice storm in Eastern Canada, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, and the H1N1 pandemic.

We are happy to share that as a result of Alumni Connect, we were able to update our alumni database from 15,000 to 20,000 active records in five months.

In January 2015, we kicked off our “Alumni Connect” initiative in an effort to reconnect with Cambrian alumni. We reached out using a variety of social media outlets and through our e-newsletter. Those alumni who participated and updated their information were entered into a variety of draws with lots of great prizes. We are happy to share that as a result of Alumni Connect, we were able to update our alumni database from 15,000 to 20,000 active records in five months. We are continuing our effort to collect contact information for our alumni, and if you would like to share yours, please contact Devin Shyminsky.

Meggan Michaud
The 2015 Alumni of Distinction Award was presented to Meggan Michaud (Graphic Design, 2010) at this year’s convocation ceremonies. Meggan started her own company, ‘Spectrum Designs’ after graduation before becoming a partner at ‘Design de Plume’ in 2012. She was awarded the BMR Award for Northern Ontario, has been published in Applied Arts Magazine, and was awarded People’s Choice Sponsor for work done for Sudbury Pride. She is also the current President of the Sudbury Design Society. Congratulations Meggan on your accomplishments!

Alumni Golf Tournament
On June 5, we hosted our annual Alumni Classic Golf Tournament. Over 140 golfers joined us for a great day of friendly competition and great times with old friends. The day was a fantastic success and over $8,600 was raised in support of scholarships and bursaries for Cambrian College students. Save the date for next year’s golf tournament set for Friday, June 10, 2016.

The Alumni team is continually working to expand the products and services available to Cambrian graduates. In addition to our on-campus services, which include Cambrian Athletic Centre discounts and access to our Employment Services, computer labs, and library, alumni can also access the Alumni Perks program that includes discounts at Choice Hotels and Canada’s Wonderland. Alumni are also able to receive discounted insurance rates through TD Insurance Meloche Monnex and Manulife, and we were please to introduce our new affinity partner this year, PBL Insurance, for their commercial, auto fleet, and bonding offerings for Cambrian Alumni. Our affinity partners strive to offer quality products to our alumni and when Cambrian graduates take advantage of these programs, financial support is directed back to the Alumni Association to support programs and initiatives.

Our goal is to build long-term, quality relationships that engage Cambrian alumni and enhance the Cambrian College experience.

New this year, the Alumni Relations Office introduced a Mentorship Program for Cambrian students in their second or final year of study. The program allows Cambrian students to be matched with a mentor in their discipline, who may either be a Cambrian alumnus or an established professional in the community. The program requires each mentor/mentee pair to set personal and professional goals supported by a one-hour commitment per month (either in person, on the phone or via e-mail) throughout the duration of the program. If you would like to be a mentor, please contact Devin Shyminsky.

As we embark upon another academic year at Cambrian College, we are proud to share that the College boasts over 50,000 graduates. Our goal is to build long-term, quality relationships that engage Cambrian alumni and enhance the Cambrian College experience. We strive to offer quality programs, activities and events, and to stay in touch with our alumni. If you have suggestions on how we can better serve our alumni, we want to hear from you!

Please contact Alumni Relations Officer, Devin Shyminsky or call 705-566-8101 ext. 6305.