4 extraordinary industry leaders honoured at convocation

Four extraordinary professionals who've left an indelible mark on their industry and community received honorary credentials at our 2018 convocation ceremonies, June 11-15.

These individuals were also recognized for contributions to the areas of study offered at George Brown and highlighted as exceptional role models for our students.

Ian Aitken

Honorary Graduate Certificate in Small Business Entrepreneurship from the Centre for Business

Aitken is Managing Partner at Pembroke Management Ltd Open New Browser Window and President and CEO of Pembroke Private Wealth Management Ltd. He is also Chairman of Enactus Canada, a network of students, academic professionals and industry leaders that aims to spur positive change in communities across the country through entrepreneurial action.

With the honorary certificate, George Brown College pays tribute to Aitken's passion and dedication to the youth leaders of today and their development. Thanks to his work, the George Brown Enactus team, and teams from colleges and universities across the country, receive the mentorship and guidance to help them improve the world.

Aitken received his honorary certificate at our afternoon convocation ceremony on Wednesday, June 13 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Steve Beauchesne

Honorary Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (Hospitality) from the Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts

Beauchesne is the CEO and Co-founder of Beau's Brewing Company Open New Browser Window. The Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts (CHCA) honoured the all-natural brewer earlier this year, naming Beau's one of the CHCA's Canadian Treasures.

A trailblazer in Ontario brewing, Beauchesne has been recognized nationally and internationally for beer-making, marketing, packaging and design, business practices and sustainability. He's also a fundraiser for charity and community and independent arts.

With the honorary degree, George Brown pays tribute to Beauchesne's professional achievements and the time he's dedicated to the college by hosting tastings, dinners and special projects, as well as his continued strong engagement with students, staff and faculty.

Beauchesne received his honorary degree at our afternoon convocation ceremony on Tuesday, June 12 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Jack Lynn Cockwell

Honorary Honours Bachelor of Technology (Construction Management) from the Centre for Construction and Engineering Technologies

Cockwell is Affiliate Director of Brookfield Asset Management Open New Browser Window. As a business strategist, he's played a leading role over the past 35 years helping to build one of Canada's largest industrial groups.

In addition to his business leadership, Cockwell has shown unwavering support for education. In 2015, he donated $8 million to George Brown, representing the largest one-time gift to the college and in the history of the Ontario college system. This generous donation enabled the college to pursue the construction of The Arbour, a tall wood building at Waterfront Campus – a pioneering project in the construction industry.

With the honorary degree, George Brown pays tribute to the role Cockwell plays as an industry leader and as a model for partnership between industry and education. He has, and continues to make exceptional contributions through his many philanthropic activities that benefit the economy, the broader community and the construction industry.

Cockwell received his honorary degree at our morning convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 14 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Heath Freel

Honorary Advanced Diploma in Computer Systems Technology from the Centre for Arts, Design and Information Technology

Freel is the President and Chief Technology Officer at End to End Networks Open New Browser Window, which has been recognized as a Canadian leader in managed networks and security services. He's a passionate advocate for connecting the role of technology and innovation with that of delivering high standard business outcomes.

As a leader in his sector, Freel has also dedicated time to contributing to the further growth of his field. He's given his time to George Brown as the Program Advisory Committee Chairman, as a guest speaker and through his continued strong engagement with our students, staff and faculty. He's also hired George Brown graduates.

With this honorary diploma, George Brown pays tribute to Freel's professional accomplishments and his dedication to education.

Freel received his honorary diploma at our afternoon convocation ceremony on Monday, June 11 at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.