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REF NO.: 198

SUBJECT: Spring Convocation 2007: Student success stories

DATE: May 24

Note to editors:
Hundreds of students will cross the stage during the last three sessions of Memorial University’s spring convocation ceremonies on Friday, May 25, 2007.
From May 23-25, more than 2,000 degrees will be awarded during eight sessions of convocation, which are being held at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s.
Outstanding individuals from the worlds of business, public life, the arts and sports will be awarded honorary degrees during the ceremonies.
Convocation is the highlight of a university career for students and heralds the end of an important life stage and the beginning of something new.
While every student has a worthy story, the following students could make for interesting feature stories.
For convocation ceremonies on Friday, May 25, 2007:
           Reggie Lawrence, Canada’s silver medallist at the Senior National Taekwondo Championships 2007, believes there are a lot of similarities between taekwondo and business. Since he began his academic career with the Faculty of Business Administration in 2002, he has shaped his experience by incorporating his love for martial arts into each of his work terms. When Mr. Lawrence began his bachelor of commerce degree, he was concerned about the work terms; he felt that he would have to sacrifice his athletic goals in order to accomplish his academic ones. However, during an international competition, that Mr. Lawrence won, held in Halifax in 2002 (Black Belt Canada 2002), the president of Taekwondo for Mexico City invited him to teach taekwondo in Mexico City and hired him as a marketing representative at the same time. Mr. Lawrence’s performances – both within competitions and in the office – received rave reviews, and in the international tournament which culminated his term in Mexico City, he earned two gold medals. Mr. Lawrence, a native of Conception Bay South, will graduate with his bachelor of commerce (co-operative) degree at the 10 a.m. session.
              Challenging doesn’t begin to describe Celine Pennell’s circumstances, but not her spirit. She has faced each of the numerous obstacles in her life with determination, focus and effort. Following an accident at age three, Ms. Pennell became blind in her left eye. Her right eye is severely impaired with vision and perception, disorienting her and causing headaches and confusion. She has always loved learning and school, and seemingly has not yet had enough. Ms. Pennell, who is from St. John’s, will graduate with her bachelor of business administration degree at the 7:30 p.m. session of convocation.
To read more about this story, and others convocation successes, visit Memorial University’s Gazette newspaper’s website:

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For further information, please contact Ivan Muzychka, manager, Communications, Memorial University, 709-737-8665, 709-687-9433 or


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