Category Archives: Ridley News

Get to Know Your Prefects: Vincent K. ’19

Meet Vincent ’19: a Boarding student from New Haven, Conneticut. Since arriving in Grade 9, Vincent has embraced boarding life, naming it as his favourite part of the Ridley experience. He believes in giving your best effort 100 percent of the time, as this will reap huge rewards along the way. Read more about this ambitious Prefect and his eagerness to take one this new role with pride.

Why did you choose Ridley?
At first glance during my tour as a prospective student, I witnessed the broad ethnic diversity, the gorgeous campus and the organized nature of the admissions process. Most importantly, a warm feeling came over me when I walked the paths of Ridley. This feeling was as if I felt at home, that this was where I belonged. At that moment, I knew, immediately that this was the school for me.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I did not feel prepared coming to Ridley. While I was excited for what was to come, I was unsure of what to expect. I remember arriving at the gates of Ridley, thinking, “Will I fit in? Will the classes be too challenging? Will I feel homesick?”. These emotions were quickly forgotten due to the friendly faces that I was met with. My new classes also resulted in a great sense of self-realization. I had to draw upon strengths I was not aware of to better myself and develop skills that were at first dormant. After the first few weeks, I was able to adapt accordingly and became aware of my initial overreaction. In other words, I was prepared,  I just did not realize it.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
My favourite faculty member is Mrs. Roud. Not only is she an amazing as the Head of Dean’s House, but also a fantastic History teacher, caring mother and the best role-model I could have asked for. She is constantly guiding me in the correct path with her wisdom and experience. I’m not sure where I would be without her!

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
The greatest challenge that I have faced at Ridley has been balancing every aspect of my life in an organized manner. Being an active member of Ridley College results in one’s schedule to be almost entirely booked. As you can imagine, excellent time management skills are a necessity for like-minded individuals. As time progressed, I was able to perfect this skill. Although, it came along numerous obstacles to overcome. Despite this, it was a fantastic learning experience for me and I now know how to deal with similar circumstances in the future.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
The reality is that I have experienced a range of success and failure at Ridley. I know that I am not perfect. Yet, I am able to realize that I have seized every opportunity that has come into my path. Most importantly, I don’t regret a single one of them. Over the past few years, I have come to realize that it is okay to fail. Failure is key to growth. This has resulted in my time at Ridley being exceptional, as I have grown immensely as an individual. So, when I look back at my Ridley journey, I am pleased, as I feel that I have so far made my time worthwhile. I believe that this is my greatest accomplishment.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
My favourite Ridley experience was with the Ridley Soccer team, when we travelled to Vancouver for the CAIS 2017 Tournament. While we were unable to win the gold medal, the close-knit bond and experience with the team was unforgettable.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley life is being a member of Dean’s House. Through our ups and downs, I have had the privilege to be beside those who I consider family. These brothers of mine have supported each other in times of need, and have rejoiced in our accomplishments. While the Dean’s boys may come and go through the years, the spirit and culture nevertheless maintain.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
So far, the experience that I have had at Ridley has been phenomenal. While a great part of this is due to my willingness to challenge myself, the opportunities that Ridley has offered me have shaped me into the individual I am today. This is why I am eternally grateful to Ridley as a whole. With the support of Ridley, I am excited to do everything in my power to ensure that others will have similar experiences to mine.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
At Ridley, you are a result of your circumstances. Didn’t receive that position you applied for? Tough luck! Received a bad grade on mock exam? Too bad! The reality is your outcome is mostly a result of your actions. This is an idea that can be difficult for some to face. It definitely was for me. Yet, as time progressed, I realized that the tools needed to succeed were present the entire time. This taught be to be more self-reliant and confident in myself. Most importantly, these are qualities that I will carry for the following years to come.

What are your plans after graduation?
My plan is to attend a university in Toronto or Vancouver, such as University of Toronto or University of British Columbia with a Business major. I also plan on continuing to work as a marketing and sales assistant at Cloudsmart, a data center and hosting service, during the summer. I am currently considering playing soccer in University as it is a passion of mine. Finally, I would like to contribute to preserving the environment and raise awareness for global warming.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
Be open to new opportunities. Ridley offers you the chance to have experiences of a lifetime and you only have one chance to take it. In other words, take advantage of what is available.

Be kind. Positivity can go a long way.

Try your hardest no matter the task. Whether it’s a Chemistry test, Cadet Inspection, or a Rugby game, give it your all. You’ll never regret giving maximum effort!

Get to Know Your Prefects: Tomi J. ’19

Meet Tomi ’19: a member of the Prep Boys basketball team, who grew out of his shell during his Upper School years at Ridley. Managing a full IB schedule, sports and friends, Tomi recognizes that it was consistently stepping out of his comfort zone that lead to such a positive and full Ridley experience. Read more to learn how Tomi plans on building his relationships between both students and faculty during his role as one of this year’s Prefects.

Why did you choose Ridley?
I chose Ridley because, firstly, I was looking to attend a boarding school to start gaining the independence that would be required in the future. I wanted to go somewhere where I would have to do things for myself and not rely on my parents for everything. I also wanted to go to a school that had a good balance of academics, athletics, co-curricular activities, etc. I wanted to attend a school with many opportunities for me to step outside of my comfort zone. Something that also drew me to Ridley was the fact that I would be able to interact with people from many different backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, etc. I am also very grateful to my parents because they were reluctant to send me here at first but they decided to take a chance and support me in everything I do.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I felt somewhat prepared for Ridley because my old school, Sterling Hall School, helped me prepare for the rigours of high school, especially an independent school like Ridley.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
This question is very hard because there are a few faculty members at Ridley I like. But for this question there is a tie between Mrs. Roud and Dr. Des Vignes. Mrs. Roud has been my Head of House since I first entered this school and she has been like a mom to me. She has not only ensured that my house (Dean’s House) is a comfortable and positive environment, but she has also encouraged me to challenge myself and take on leadership roles that I never would’ve thought would be fit for me. She has also been encouraging to my parents as they always seem to have separation anxiety when I not at home. Dr. Des Vignes has also been involved in my school life since I was in Grade 9. I first met him when I played on the U16 basketball team, as he was the coach, and ever since then he has also been like a parent away from home. He has tremendously helped me especially in terms of balancing my academics and basketball, as I found it challenging in my first two years at this school. He has encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone in all that I do.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
My greatest challenge at Ridley has either been the transition from Grade 10 to 11 or the balancing of academics and basketball. The transition from Grade 10 to 11 was difficult as the intensity and volume of work increased tremendously as I took five IB courses and an online course as well. Balancing academics and basketball, especially in Grade 11, being a full-time member of the Prep Basketball team was challenging. My academic schedule was already intense but on top of that I also had a very busy basketball schedule as we had a lot of away games and we also travelled to the United States a couple times. It took immense concentration and self-motivation to stay on top of things and not fall behind.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
My greatest accomplishment at Ridley has probably been getting through Grade 11. Firstly, the transition was difficult as I mentioned before. Secondly, I went from being on the U16 basketball team and only playing up a few games with the Prep team to becoming a full-time member, which meant an increasingly busy schedule. I also had a few things going on in my personal life. Balancing everything was like a juggling act. I was able to handle all the pressure, have the best year of basketball I’ve ever had in my life, attain an honour roll average and, as a result, became a stronger person.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
My favorite experience at Ridley has been playing on the basketball team and meeting lifetime friends. Coach Tarry, Coach Bett, Coach Brad, Coach Mark and Mr. Tredway have done a good job in helping me grow as a player, which has benefitted me as I have begun to pick up interest from Division 1 schools in the U.S. thanks to all the work they put into my development. The guys on the team have also become brothers to me and I am excited to work with them in our final year together to complete some unfinished business. I have also created friends in this school that I can confidently say are lifetime friends. Friends that I am able to share my joys and pains with.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
The housing system at Ridley is my favourite part of  school life and I have been blessed enough to be part of a house that fits my extroverted personality. The boys in Dean’s have become family to me and I’ve created bonds with them that cannot be broken. Anytime I’m having a bad day, I can go back to the house after school and my mood would instantly be rejuvenated. I would not give up being in Dean’s House for anything

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
I am excited to be the intermediary between the students and administration of the school. I really want to be someone that people can comfortably come to with their needs and wants and what not. I am excited to build up that relationship with the school body that will allow me to be that type of person.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has equipped me with excellent time management skills. At times I had to learn how to manage my time with my busy schedule the hard way, but it has left me wiser. I have also gained good interpersonal skills. Before I came to Ridley I was timid and somewhat scared to interact with people I didn’t really know. Now when people first meet me, they would never believe that I was like that in Grade 9. I enjoy interacting with a variety of people that come from different places. Ridley has also opened my mind to a variety of perspectives that I have never really seen before.

What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I plan to go to America to play Division 1 basketball as I have picked up interest from universities in places like New York, Connecticut, California, etc. I would like to go to a school with a good basketball program but I would also like to go to a school that has very good social science program as my ultimate goal in life is to become a lawyer.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
DO NOT WAIT. That is a mistake I made when I first got here. I waited to step out of my comfort zone, I waited a while before I started getting on top of things, I waited to take opportunities. Do not wait because if you wait, it may be too late when you decide to start stepping out of your comfort zone as some people may beat you to a certain opportunity. As soon as you step foot onto Ridley, begin your pursuit of ways to step out of your comfort zone. Be quick to take that bold step no matter how hard it may be for you. I also encourage you to have fun. Though a large portion of your life at Ridley requires a serious attitude, set some personal time for yourself as well. Whether it is going to the mall with your friends or having a fun game of futsal in the gym, down time is needed. Although many parents may argue against it, down time also helps your performance as everyone needs time to relieve stress and maintain their sanity. High school is the last few years of you have to be a “kid” before things get real so enjoy every moment of it.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Kyoko T. ’19

Meet Kyoko T. ’19: a Ridley Lifer who instantly felt welcomed into the school community upon arriving as a Grade 4 student. With an appreciation for the multicultural environment Ridley celebrates, Kyoko has expanded her horizons to studying abroad during her summer holidays. Read more about Kyoko’s open-minded nature and how she intends to get involved in school events as a Prefect.

Why did you choose Ridley?
As a 9 year old, I didn’t really know what it meant to come to Ridley. My parents decided that I needed a school that would better challenge me academically and had a diverse co-curricular programme.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I wasn’t feeling unprepared, but I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what Ridley life is like. Ridley is so different from my previous school, and its multicultural community is unique. It took me a little while to get a feel for the community, which was very welcoming.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
Ms. Barranca would have to be my favourite teacher at Ridley. I’ve only had her for one year in IB Film, but that class is amazing. She goes so far beyond what is required of her as a teacher, and she genuinely cares for all of her students.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
Ridley is very different from other schools, with a different approach to learning and life. It is a very multicultural school with students from many different countries. Being in the Ridley environment has challenged my thinking culturally, about myself and about how I approach problems and so on. Adjusting to a new way of thinking, and learning how to be a true Ridleian has been hard, but rewarding.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
My greatest accomplishment at Ridley is winning the Ian Wood ’53 Summer Language Scholarship. I had applied twice, though I was unsuccessful the first time. I decided to take my experience from the first round of applications and do everything I could to improve, so I could achieve my goal of going overseas to study Japanese. All of my hard work paid off and the feeling was wonderful.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
My favourite experience at Ridley so far was going to camp in my Grade 11 year. It was the first time I had gotten to be a cabin leader, and the experience helped me to meet more new students. I made some really great friends at camp that year, and it was a great way to start Grade 11.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
As a Prefect, I am most excited to be able to make events happen for the rest of the school. In the past, Prefects have organized activities that have raised school morale, which have been a lot of fun. I can’t wait to follow in their footsteps and try to bring a little bit of excitement to the students.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley has definitely taught me how to manage my time well and set reasonable goals. Both of these skills have been useful more times than I can count, and will be an asset for my future.

What are your plans after graduation?
After Ridley, I plan to go to university, to double major in Asian Studies – history specifically – and Film.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
To any new student: there is no right or wrong way to experience Ridley. For some students, their lives will revolve around sports or academics. You should choose the opportunities and activities that you want to do, and genuinely interest you. The point of being at Ridley is to make the most of your experience, and not anyone elses.

Top 10 Useful Ways to Use the Ridley College Network

In June, Ridley launched a new online platform, the Ridley College Network, that allows alumni to reconnect with former classmates, fellow Old Ridleians and the school. Whether you’re a recent graduate or a Golden Tiger, here are 10 useful ways to use and benefit from this innovative new platform.

1. Update Your Profile
We want to know what you’ve been up to since graduating Ridley! Include a recent photo, short biography, university or college degree and career information.

2. Visit the Job Board
Search for your next career move or post an opening at your organization.

3. Share an Update
Have something interesting to share? Post an update or start a discussion! It’s the perfect place to start a conversation with someone new.

4. Reconnect
Use the search function in the Directory and reconnect with an old friend, housemate or teacher.

5. Discover Mentorship
Search the directory to find a mentor or list your profile as ‘willing to help’ so someone looking for a mentor can find you!

6. Join a Group
Visit the ‘Groups’ tab and join a group that interests you; such as ‘Graduates of the Last Decade’, ‘Friends of Rowing’ or one of the branches.

7. Check Out Upcoming Events
Visit the ‘Events’ tab and find out if a Ridley reception is coming your city, sign-up for a golf tournament, or learn about other special events.

8. Stay Up to Date with Social
Visit the ‘News’ tab and see Ridley’s official social media platforms in one place. Watch the latest video, see what we’re sharing on Instagram or read the latest blog post.

9. Upload Photos
Upload Photos from your Ridley experience so that your peers can share in your memories.

10. Download the Mobile App
Open your App Store (Google or Apple) and search for ‘Graduway’. When opened for the first time, you will be prompted to enter a code (1503282). Simply log in with your credentials and you’re all set to stay connected via your personal device!

Share the Ridley College Network to increase participation!

 

 

Get to Know Your Prefects: Isabella N. ’19

Meet Isabella ’19: a Prefect who arrived at Ridley in Grade 9 from a small school. While unsure of how she would adapt to this new, global environment, Isabella embraced the change and flourished throughout her school and House experiences. Read on to learn about how Isabella balances academics, sports and co-curricular activities, which has set her up for success.

Why did you choose Ridley?
Initially, I was looking for a private school close to home that offered an excellent education and new opportunities. I wanted to attend a school that had students who were ambitious and could provide new possibilities. I am beyond grateful that my family and I chose Ridley for my high school career. Ridley has offered me countless opportunities for both academic and extracurricular success that have allowed for personal growth.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
I did not feel prepared at all. Coming to Ridley from a small school, I knew I would be thrown out of my comfort zone. This being said, I understood that it would take some time to adapt to my new environment.

Who is your favourite faculty member and why?
I can’t say that I have one particular favourite faculty member, but I can say that I am very thankful for specific teachers that have pushed me to become a better student and overall person. For instance, I am a proud member of Leonard House and have been blessed with a fantastic Head of House. Mrs. Steele goes above and beyond every day to ensure all members of Leonard are happy, safe, and experiencing new things.

What has been your most significant challenge thus far as Ridley?
Thus far, my most significant challenge at Ridley has been learning to balance my academics and co-curricular activities. Ridley has a rigorous learning environment, and it can be challenging to manage academics, sports and co-curricular commitments.

What has been your most significant accomplishment thus far as Ridley?
My most significant accomplishment thus far at Ridley has been earning the position of Prefect. Ever since Grade 9, I made earning the position of Prefect a target for myself and am very proud of achieving this goal.

What has been your favourite Ridley experience?
My favourite Ridley experience has to be Snake Dance and going to Disneyland to attend Disney’s business and leadership workshops.

What is your favourite part of Ridley life?
My favourite part of Ridley life is going to a school that has over 50 nationalities represented. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about other cultures and to make long-lasting international relationships.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited about?
I am most excited to lead the student body alongside the other Prefects. I can’t wait to welcome new and returning students in September. An event that I am particularly excited for is Snake Dance. I am excited to lead this event as a Prefect and show our new students our tiger pride.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
Ridley is genuinely a university preparatory school. Ridley has done an exceptional job teaching students the importance of time management skills. Time management is an essential skill necessary for success, and I am very thankful that I have been able to improve this skill.

What are your plans after graduation?
After Ridley, I plan on attending either a Canadian or American university where I will receive my Bachelor of Commerce. I will then further pursue an MBA and hope to land a job within the field of business.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
My advice to new prospective students is to go for it! When you first arrive at Ridley, it can be very overwhelming and a little nerve-racking. I encourage everyone to take advantage of all the opportunities that Ridley has to offer.

Get to Know Your Prefects: Asmatullah A. ’19

Meet Asmatullah: a Prefect who began his Ridley journey last year and has launched himself into everything that our school offers. During the 2017-2018 school year, Asmatullah learned his fifth language, found a home away from home, sought leadership roles and excelled in academics, athletics and co-curriculars. Read more about his past accomplishments and future endeavors.

Why did you choose Ridley?
The main reason that I chose Ridley was because of endless opportunities and support available at the school that would help me grow. I chose to come to Ridley because of the values such as keeping up with service to others, that the Ridley community possesses and fits my characteristics and purpose of life.

Did you feel prepared coming to Ridley?
Coming to Ridley, I thought that I am well prepared to start my year. However, everything exceeded my expectations; from the diversity in the community to studying with such an amazing and smart cohort and from the volume of opportunities available to academic intensity at the school especially with the IB programme. I felt overwhelmed in the beginning but with support that I got from the faculty, staff, and my friends, I was able to take on every challenge, thrive and have fun.

Who is your favorite faculty member and why?
This is a hard question to answer because since I started school at Ridley, I have been meeting very kind and amazing faculty and staff members. From kind-hearted Admissions staff, Dean’s House’s amazing duty team and my supportive teachers, I will choose Ms. Crowe Morey as my favorite faculty member. She is my Spanish teacher, advisor for the club that I am leading (Challenge 2020) and a strong support for me. Ms. Crowe Morey has put her trust in me and believes in my future success. She gives me hope and helps me stay strong. With her support I was able to prosper in learning my fifth language; Spanish.

What has been your greatest challenge thus far at Ridley?
My biggest challenge at Ridley so far has been keeping up with the academic challenges while participating in a variety of activities and sports. During my time at Ridley, I participated in several clubs and activities where I had different leadership roles. I was in the senior rowing team which is one of the most demanding and time-consuming sports on campus while being enrolled in the IB Diploma Programme. Having a perfectionist characteristic, it was a challenge for me to keep up with everything and have everything perfect.

What has been your greatest accomplishment thus far at Ridley?
From all my accomplishments this past year, I can conclude that they all led to my greatest accomplishment so far in life; being a Prefect. Coming to Ridley in September 2017, I only had a couple of months to prove my leadership potential for the position. I consider being a Prefect one of my greatest accomplishments because now I am in a position where I am a part of the driving force behind positive changes at Ridley. Now I can serve my peers to the best of my ability and their interests.

What has been your favorite Ridley experience?
Being in love with military disciplines and traditions, doing cadets is my favorite Ridley experience so far. In the beginning of my year at Ridley I participated in Ridley College Drill Team and when the main cadets season started, I was selected to be a part of Ridley College Cadet Corps’ leadership team as Company Sergeant Major for E Company. For me Cadets is more than just wearing a sweater coat uniform or cadet reds and marching around. For me it’s a matter of pride. It’s a way to honor those who gave their lives and those who are still fighting for our freedom. It’s a way to teach teamwork and pass value with honor to our younger generations. I know how good it felt during Church Parade while marching in the back of our cadet corps, taking care from behind, and watching hundreds of students marching and more than 50 flags fly. And that’s why Cadets is my favorite experience at Ridley so far.

What is your favorite part of Ridley life?
My favorite part of Ridley life is our residences. All the residences, especially Dean’s House (my residence), felt like home for me after a couple of days at school. The love, support and good vibes that I saw at Dean’s House helped me to stop missing my home back in Afghanistan and start creating a new home for myself at Ridley. Thanks to the house duty team members, especially our Heads of Houses, Assistant Heads of Houses and Resident Dons, for making our experience at Ridley as good as it could be.

What part of being a Prefect are you most excited for?
What I am most excited about as a Prefect is seeing my peers smiling, while I know that I had a hand in causing that smile, satisfaction, and good experience at Ridley. As a Prefect, my main goal will be to make next year as enjoyable and fun as possible for all members of our Ridley community. Although, this is a challenging goal and might sound idealistic; I am excited to take on the challenges alongside the Prefect team and do whatever I can to make next year a memorable one for everyone.

How has Ridley prepared you for the future?
For me Ridley is far more than just a place where I go to school. Ridley is an experience. Apart from the academic skills and knowledge that I have acquired at Ridley, my experience at Ridley has helped me grow spiritually and find my real self in many different ways. Ridley has thought me how to handle my emotions and fight till the end, until I succeed.

What are your plans after graduation?
As I want to enter the field of politics in future, my plans after graduation from Ridley is doing double major in Political Science and Economics, which are fields that I enjoy studying. My dream school is NYU Abu Dhabi because I believe that being able to study my degree around the world in any NYU campus with the study abroad program is essential for a political science student to get a first-hand experience of politics around the world. If I could live anywhere in the world I will choose between San Diego or Vancouver, but I will go wherever life and my goals takes me. I would love to continue learning to play the piano and do photography, as both are my hobbies.

What advice would you give prospective students about Ridley?
If I was to give advice to a prospective Ridley student it will be similar to this: “If you are looking for somewhere to flourish and grow Ridley is the right place for you. Here at Ridley there are infinite opportunities available for you but they do not come to your feet; with a bit of confidence, initiative, and creativity, with support of people who you will be surrounded with, you will be able to embrace change and use those opportunities to grow day in and out. Ridley is a challenging school from all aspects, if you are committed to bringing a positive change to the world Ridley will be the best point to begin as long as you work hard, stay committed to your goals, and have fun.

TOP 10 Highlights from the 2017-2018 School Year

Ridley has had its share of excitement in academics, athletics and the arts over the past ten months. As another school year comes to an end, we look back on some of the most noteworthy events of 2017-2018.

Ridley Becomes First Visible Wellbeing™ School in North America
Dr. Waters’ First Visit | Dr. Waters’ Second Visit

Benefit Raises $275,000 for Ridley

View photos | Watch video

Tigers Represent Team Canada
Training Camp | FIBA U18 photos

Ridley Launches New Design of Tiger Magazine

Read Spring 2018 edition

Ridley Releases First Documentary: Ridley Carries On
Watch documentary | Donate to the Digital Archives Project

Historical Year for Ridley Athletics

GymnasticsBasketballSwimmingHockey | Girls Rugby 
Boys Rugby & Tennis | Rowing

Ridley Celebrates Canada’s 150th Birthday

View photos | Watch Canada flag time-lapse

Tigers Show Selflessness on Service Learning Trips

Read more

Students Celebrate Diversity During Winter Carnival 

View photos 

Arts Flourishing More Than Ever Before

Read more | Watch video

Ambassador for Change

David MacNaughton ’67 Returns to Ridley for Graduate Prize Day Address

Despite holding one of the most critical appointments in Canadian public affairs at the moment, Mr. David MacNaughton ’67, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States of America, returned to campus on May 26th to inspire the newest cohort of Ridley graduates to be determined, committed and fearless in their quests to transform our globe.

“I always found that if you try to surround yourself with really smart people who try hard, you can do really great things…And that really came from [Ridley],” reflected Ambassador MacNaughton when asked how his three years as a boarder in Merritt House helped to prepare him for his distinguished career in business, public office and as a diplomat.

According to his classmates, MacNaughton was known for being a personable student, a quiet leader, devoted Sacristan in the Chapel, and skillful athlete in both hockey and football. He came to the school in his Grade 11 year seeking the opportunity to excel academically, while competing athletically — a balance he hadn’t found elsewhere. He explained that beyond thriving in these two areas, he was glad to have found more; a community, camaraderie, focus and drive. This ambition became obvious during his post-secondary studies and early introduction to government.

After exploring his passions abroad by teaching at a seminary school in France for a year, MacNaughton returned to Canada and was swiftly recruited to the University of New Brunswick to play football. There, he completed his Honours Arts Degree and took advantage of a life-shaping opportunity. MacNaughton had attended a Student-Liberal Convention one afternoon in Halifax to observe the candidacy for Student-President of the Atlantic Province. He remembers that the crowd was seemingly unenthusiastic about both nominees and he subsequently decided to throw his hat in the ring. “So I won and became President of the Atlantic Province Student-Liberal…a kid from Ontario!” he says, still amazed at this chance-opportunity more than three decades later. One might argue it wasn’t by chance at all.

The following summer, as a result of this victory, he and the other six regional presidents went to Ottawa to gain public sector experience. MacNaughton worked with Don Jamieson, then Cabinet Minister from Newfoundland, for the next six years and eventually with Industry Canada and Foreign Affairs. By the time he was 26-years-old, the Old Ridleian had travelled to some 55 countries and collected a wealth of invaluable knowledge. With this expertise in tow and about to be a first-time father, he deliberately “shifted gears” in the 1980s to business and transformed the public affairs industry through public-relations-and-consulting.

“The thing I learned more than anything else [at Ridley] was how to be a member of a team,” explained MacNaughton when pinpointing what skills have helped him the most throughout his career and life. “There is no “I” in “team” and that’s one of the foundations that I got here,” he continued. It would ultimately be his resilience, intellect and teamwork that led to his current appointment as Ambassador. Having worked on Prime Minster Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party campaign leading up to the 2015 Federal Election, MacNaughton was a strong choice for this principal role in Washington, D.C.

“David was a popular guy with an easy smile, a quiet way and a good sense of humour. He played Second hockey, First football as a lineman, was appointed a prefect at Christmas in his final year deservedly so. He won the Zealous Achievement for Merritt House, served as the Sacristan in the Chapel, and was a respected leader.” — classmate, Brian Iggulden ’67

Given his true embodiment of what it means to be a Ridleian — both flourishing and actively making the world a better place — the school was elated to welcome Ambassador MacNaughton back to campus as the 2018 Alumni Distinguished Speaker for Graduate Prize Day. It was an honour he shared with one of his four daughters, Erin (MacNaughton) Sumner ’98, whom he proudly witnessed crossing that very stage to receive her diploma twenty years prior.

Celebrating his 50th class reunion in 2017 and becoming a ‘Golden Tiger’, MacNaughton remarks that the school has positively evolved in many ways since he graduated — having embraced co-education, becoming globally diverse, even more athletically competitive, and introducing the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme. To our internationally diverse student population, comprised of 54 nationalities, the Ambassador expressed that, “I think having that [internationally diverse] approach is really important for the school because there are other forces at work. We see it elsewhere, the kind of nativism, nationalism, isolationism, and I think Canada can set an important example.”

While taking to the lectern in front of the Class of 2018, Ambassador MacNaughton imparted that when he first graduated from Ridley, he had little understanding of, or application for, the school’s motto (Terar Dum Prosim: May I be Consumed in Service), but has grown to have a deep appreciation for it today. He urged the graduates to recognize that we are in an era of rapid progress and that they can truly have an impact. He poignantly illustrated this with personal examples, such as the near-eradication of Polio worldwide after he (like many) suffered from the disease as a child, and first meeting President Obama in the Oval Office less than half a century after the abolishment of discriminatory laws against African Americans.


Watch full Prize Day Address from Ambassador, David MacNaughton ’67.

Off stage, the Ambassador reinforced this powerful message by stating, “In my lifetime we have seen phenomenal changes, but these don’t just happen because they’re the natural course of history, they happen because people actually make a difference… you have to work hard at it and sometimes you might have set backs, but you have to be persistent, you have to be determined and you have to build teamwork to get it done, but you can do it.”

Ambassador MacNaughton’s inspiring words won’t soon be forgotten, instead they are instilled in the cohort of brilliant, globally-minded young adults who left the Marriott Gates on Saturday destined for both greatness and goodness.

View photos of Ambassador MacNaughton ’67.
View photos from 2018 Graduate Priize Day.

TOP 10 Pieces of Advice for Graduates

As the Class of 2018 prepares to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas, we compiled 10 pieces of advice from young alumni, that will help our graduates as they begin the next chapter of their lives.

1. Find Your Passion
“Great ideas come from great passion. When you do what you love, you will never look back. The positive light from doing what you love will unknowingly motivate others to do the same!” – Marina Radovanovic ’14

2. Set Goals
“Set goals and then reset them regularly. Stand behind your ideas. Even if the first ones don’t take, keep an entrepreneurial spirit alive. Think outside the box. Sometimes the best ideas are the ones that break the mold.” – Colt Iggulden ’03

3. Believe in Yourself
“One of the biggest things that current and future Ridleians should remember is to never stop believing that they can do great things. Anybody can do anything that they set their minds to. No matter how much adversity one must face to achieve greatness, it is important to never lose sight of what you want and to never give up. If there is something you want, go for it and don’t hold back.”
Luc Brodeur ’14

4. Seek Mentorship
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be patient. If I had never asked my coach what my next steps were, I wouldn’t have been able to take them. Then I had to be patient and wait for the right time. It’s all about the process, enjoy it. If you have a passion for something, don’t be afraid to pursue it.” – Laura Court ’14

5. Strive for More
“Follow your curiosity and always look for ways to improve. This may require further education and certification, volunteering with people different than you, or taking on a side-gig, but compounding curiosity will open you up to opportunities you may have never thought of.” – Radley Mackenzie ’03

6. Embrace Change
“You can’t rest on what you have done before, what you did last month, or five years ago. You really have to every day try and create something new that is going to help you out down the road.” – Thomas ‘Tawgs’ Salter ’94

7. Be Fearless
“If you believe in your idea, get out there and make it happen. The worst that can happen is it doesn’t work out, you learn an absolute ton, and you nail it the next time. So many decisions are driven by the fear of failure – don’t let yourself fall into that trap and keep taking big risks!” – Jillian Evans ‘06

8. Take Risks
“Challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Test out different subjects and hold on to what does not let your mind rest.” – Marc Seitz ’08

9. Be a Part the Bigger Picture
“Remember what it means to be a positive part of a community. Don’t get caught up trying to clamor to the top. Build strong supportive relationships with your peers and your competitors, think globally, act locally.” – Jordan Fowler ’05

10. Be Patient
“Take your time in figuring out what you want to do. There is a lot of pressure to pick something and stick with it, but I think careers and passions grow and evolve just as we do.” – Megan Breukelman ’11

Oh and… “Thank your parents. Seriously.” – Jeanette Stock ’09

Many Ridley College alumni have gone on to enjoy successful careers in their respective fields. The Ridley College MentORship Programme offers these Old Ridleians an opportunity to contribute to the Ridley mission by advising younger alumni who have graduated within the last ten years. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or would like to take advantage of this programme as a mentee, visit here.

Students Transform Our Globe on Annual Service Trips

The Ridley motto, “May I be consumed in service” was aptly applied by three groups of students who travelled to Malawi, Guatemala and China during the March break. These service-learning excursions provided Ridleians with the unique opportunity to experience the living conditions in these countries, while actively contributing to their betterment.

At Ridley, emphasis is placed on global mindedness and service, so it comes as no surprise that so many Tigers were willing to dedicate their holidays to helping those less fortunate in distant communities. Here are some highlights from each of the 2018 service-learning trips:

Malawi

This March, Ridley continued its commitment to the Jacaranda School for Orphans, with 23 representatives making the long trek to Malawi for two weeks. Mr. Burke, Mrs. Darby and Dr. Des Vignes accompanied 20 students from Grades 9 to 12 as they embarked on an experience of a lifetime. This year, students brought an additional suitcase (23 suitcases total) filled with a variety of resources doe Jacaranda students including medical supplies, toys, laptops, tablets, art supplies, clothing and games.

While there, Ridleians were involved in an array of initiatives to benefit in the well-being of the local community, such as the Days for Girls project, delivering more than 20 feminine hygiene kits to the girls of Jacaranda. Students also worked on an outreach programme, going into a local village and helping to build a home for Mike, a boy in Grade 2, who is living with HIV and is also currently fighting cancer. One of the unique initiatives, that was even featured on a local television station, was the involvement of students collaborating with Jacaranda children to build prosthetic hands, brought in from Ridley’s “Helping Hands” Grade 11 class project.

 “Nothing prepares you for the experience of going to Malawi and Jacaranda. All you can do is “be free to fly” because that’s what the children of Jacaranda would do.” – Mrs. Wendy Darby ’99, Librarian and Archivist.

Many of the students reflected on how their time at Jacaranda had affected their perspective on life in a positive way. Some mentioned how they will now focus on the importance of expressing their gratitude towards their parents, becoming willing to convey their emotions more freely based on their personal observations of the children of Malawi, and treat every day as a gift – not taking for granted simple luxuries like running water and a warm bed.

Ridley’s connection to the Jacaranda School was initiated in October 2016, when founder, Marie Da Silva visited our campus to educate students on her mission in Malawi.

View photos.

Guatemala

The annual service trip once again brought a group of students to volunteer with The Doppenbergs in Guatemala (D.I.G.). This is a non-profit organization that helps build local schools, provides water and nutrition solutions to families and has developed the Centre of Hope for special needs children.

Part of the Doppenbergs mission is, “to work together with other to open their hearts and mind to service so together we can make this world a better place.” Ridleians followed in these footsteps by joining the Doppenberg’s altruistic efforts and positively impacting the children of Guatemala.

Ridleians spent the week participating in various projects, such as painting the school in preparation for the upcoming rainy season, as well as planting the nutrient-rich Moringa plants.

One particular experience put the students into the shoes of the Guatemalans. In an effort to better understand one of the challenges that local families endure, our students participated in a 1.5km “water walk.”

“This water walk made me realize that I take basic human needs such as clean water for granted. I did not realize how much work these women did for water until I experienced it myself.” – Vanessa Ferrante ’21

Students got to experience first-hand what life is like in Guatemala. The most cherished time spent, however, was connecting with children at the Centre for Hope who welcomed our students with open arms. The connections with these children had the most striking impact on our students.

“I learned how to be more independent, I created stronger bonds with my friends and teachers and I experienced a different way of living.” – Victoria Ferreira ’21

View photos.

China

A group of students travelled to China from March 16th to April 1st to participate in a cultural exchange sponsored by the Guiyang Education Bureau. Participants of the trip had the opportunity to collaborate with several primary schools in Guiyang, interacting with the school community, exchanging cultures and taking part in a variety of co-curricular activities.

The school communities were comprised of China’s left-behind children, and our Rildey students’ purpose was to inspire these children to pursue their education, strive to achieve their goals and dreams, and reduce the drop-out rate within these communities.

While all three trips comprised of vastly different experiences, what connects them is the intention behind their travel: giving back. Through these unique travel opportunities, students gain an appreciation of different cultures, opinions and ways of life. Service initiatives continue on campus, with our Ridleians dedicated to transforming our globe.