As the Ontario Association of International Educators (OAIE) conference hosted by Niagara College began today, Sharon and Keith Segal cut the ribbon unveiling the opening of Niagara Colleges Segal International Centre, renamed in their honour after a most generous donation to the college of $500,000.
Keith Segal addressed the crowd who gathered to join the celebration by saying although neither he nor Sharon attended the college, both felt an attachment to the institution through the generousity and constant persuasion of Sean Kennedy, vice-president, student and external relations, CEO, Niagara College Foundation.
Segal told the crowd that he has been involved with international students for the last 20 years through his company, guard.me International Insurance, where over 100,000 students are provided protection every year. Segal also singled out the efforts of Sean Coote, director of international students, and his staff, saying that over the last 12 years, Coote has pushed the envelope as much as he can to get the best service for his students.
I recognize that we share a common care for these international students, said Segal adding that it made him want to do more.
It takes a commitment to attract, encourage and support these international students to reach their full potential and to enhance their student experience.
International education is one of the most powerful weapons we can use to change the world, said Segal, quoting Nelson Mandela, adding Niagara College is doing just that.
None of this would be possible without the infectious enthusiasm and energetic creative leadership of President Dan Patterson, said Segal commenting on the highest student satisfaction levels achieved by the college in the last eight out of nine years.
In closing, Segal quoted Walt Disney saying all our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them, noting the colleges logo of applied dreams.
Patterson gratefully acknowledged the generous Segal contribution which led to the centres expansion, a provision further enhancing the student experience.
You have provided a world of opportunity for our students, said Patterson.
Welland Mayor Barry Sharpe, a former Niagara College administrator and teacher, also thanked the Segals for their contribution as he reminisced about his former students and how important they were to him.