Brett Shepherd, director of Ridgetown campus with Dr. Simon Lachance, assistant dean of academic at Ridgetown campus, from the waist up. They are holding black and red boxes with the U of G logo on them. These are graduate boxes sent to all the graduates. There is a building the background.
Brett Shepherd, director of Ridgetown Campus, and Dr. Simon Lachance, assistant dean academic at Ridgetown Campus, holding one of the “Graduation in a Box” that were delivered to graduates

The University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus celebrated the achievements of graduating students who have completed one of the seven academic programs offered.

Graduates successfully completed their academic requirements in the Associate Diplomas in Agriculture, Environmental Management, Equine Care & Management, Horticulture and Veterinary Technology, along with graduates in the Veterinary Office Administration Certificate and the in-class portion of the Dairy Herdsperson Apprenticeship program.

These graduates have completed their programs under unique and unprecedented circumstances. Each of them has persevered throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and they, along with the teaching staff and their families have much to celebrate.

In his virtual address to graduates, Brett Shepherd, director of Ridgetown Campus, told graduates, “With the many challenges we face as a society, I can’t think of anything more important than improving the world growing around us, and with the experience and expertise you have gained, I know you will become leaders wherever you choose to live and work.”

Offering additional encouragement to the graduates, Dr. Rene Van Acker, dean, of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC), said, “You have chosen academic programs that lead to opportunities, and in career areas where there is great demand for graduates. I know you will make a real difference and create a better world!”

With the theme, Celebrating the Class of 2021, graduates have been sent a special ‘Graduation in a Box’ package, which included their diploma or certificate parchment, a commemorative graduation program, a Class of 2021 mortarboard tassel, a confetti cannon, and a novelty license plate.

We invite you to celebrate with the class of 2021 through visiting our new graduation website. Graduation activities culminated with a special virtual event that highlighted each graduate and offered special remarks from the university, OAC, and campus leadership as well as local politicians, Chatham-Kent-Leamington MPP Rick Nicholls, and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development of Ontario. During the virtual event, several students shared personal memories and thanked staff for their steadfast commitment to learning during the academic year.

Each year the campus celebrates teaching excellence through the Dr. Ron Pitblado Teaching Award, and this year’s recipient was Dr. Dave Hooker. Hooker created new and engaging course content, integrating many new teaching tools and developing over 50 different teaching videos to engage students in learning online during the fall 2020 and winter 2021 semesters.

Annually, Ridgetown Campus celebrates the successes and achievements of graduates through the Graduation Awards program. Thanks to the unwavering support of our award donor family, 52 awards were given out, totaling over $31,000.00 in monetary support and gifts. For a full listing of our award winners and generous award donors, please see our graduation website.

Congratulations to the class of 2021! We wish them all the best in their future endeavours.


Liz Meidlinger
Manager Communications, Ridgetown Campus
or 519-350-0203