News

Kemptville College reunion returns following a two-year absence

By Tom Van Dusen 
Ontario Farmer 
September 6, 2022 

 Lombardy – It may have been longer than five years since the death knell was sounded for Kemptville Agricultural College but its relocated alumni is still going strong. 

Even COVID-19 couldn’t terminate the association’s dedication. It held a recent reunion at Lombardy Fairgrounds south of Smiths Falls where a new building was dedicated in 2019 to house alumni artifacts donated by members and removed from the campus under a cloud of controversy. 

After disappointing cancellations in 2020-21 due to the virus, it was a thrill to get together again, said Mary Carver of the class of 1967. The biggest problem was securing overnight accommodations in Smiths Falls and area as grads checked in from across the province and beyond. 

Organizers were delighted with the response from featured years ending in 0, 1, 2, 5, 6, and 7, Carver said. More than 100 guests attended the luncheon and 250 members and partners gathered for the evening buffet centered on a 110-lb hip of beef; she credited Judy Drummond of the Lombardy Agricultural Society and her team of volunteers for catering the “delicious meals.” 

“Due to the heart-breaking demise of Kemptville College in 2016, a strong alumni association is credited with successfully keeping graduates connected and memories alive,” she stated. 

Carver was referring to the decision by University of Guelph to abandon the college and its second satellite in Alfred. The backlash was loud and long-lasting, 

culminating in takeover of the campus by the Municipality of North Grenville and creation of an educational hub mainly catering to regional school boards. 

The association was invited to retain its presence on the repurposed campus but opted instead to relocate to Lombardy, a decision Carver, a professional home economist, and other members welcomed. 

Describing the Lombardy historical building as a “must-see” for grads and former staff members, Carver said artifacts and photos were well-organized for the reunion. The best news given at the annual meeting was that the fundraising goal for the $60,000 archives building has been fully met through donations from members, businesses and other sources. 

Members of honour years are encouraged to contribute an auction item in support of two annual alumni scholarships of $1,000 each offered to students in their second year at an accredited college in food or agriculture; live and silent auction proceeds this year exceeded $3,500. 

The annual Spirit Award was collected (again) by Carver and her Class of ’67 members, with 24 grads in attendance; the award is presented to the honour year that scores highest in attendance at the annual meeting and banquet, greatest number of items donated to, and funds raised, at the auctions; oldest grad in attendance; and number of grads who married a fellow Kemptville grad. Carver is married to Roy Carver of the Class of ’66 who helped conduct the live auction. 

The alumni board is already planning for the next reunion on Aug. 19, 2023, honouring years ending in 3 and 8. However, all grads are invited to attend any reunion. 


Kemptville College Alumni Hosts Exhilarating Reunion

by Mary Carver, Class of ‘67

The Kemptville College Alumni Board was thrilled to hold its Reunion on August 20, 2022, after disappointing cancellations in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid restrictions. Overnight accommodations in the Smiths Falls region were scarce as Kemptville grads flooded the area from across Ontario and from out-of-province.

Due to the heart-breaking demise of Kemptville College in 2016, a strong Alumni Association is credited with successfully keeping graduates connected and memories alive. The welcoming Lombardy Fairgrounds was the site of the recent Reunion and where the exceptional College Alumni Historical Building opened in 2019.  Artifacts and photos are well organized and showcased. The historical building is a must-see for all Kemptville grads and former staff members. The best news at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) was that the fundraising goal for the building has been met. More info: https://kcalumni.ca/fundraising/ Members left the excellent AGM assured grads that the Alumni Association was financially strong and in good hands.

Organizers were delighted with the response from featured Honour Years ending in: 0,1,2,5,6 and 7. Members of Honour Years at every reunion are encouraged to contribute an auction item in support of two annual Alumni Scholarships of $1000. each. Auctioneers Roy Carver -Year ’66 and Barbara Newman (Burton) – Year ’67, were kept alert due to competitive bidding. The live and silent auctions proceeds exceeded $3500.

Delicious meals were catered by the Lombardy Agricultural Society in care of Judy Drummond and her team of proficient, local volunteers. Over 100 attended the luncheon and 250 gathered for the evening buffet where a 110 lb. hip of beef was cooked to perfection.  It was tough work to select from the broad assortment of scrumptious home-made pies and desserts. But we managed.

The Sprit Award was won by Year 1967 celebrating 55years since graduation.  Twenty-four members were in attendance – including Marion McKee from Mission, BC and Honorary Member, Nancy Curtis of Kemptville. The Spirt Award is presented annually to the Year that scores highest in the following categories:

  • most members in attendance at the AGM and banquet;
  • greatest number of items donated to and funds raised at the auctions;
  • oldest grad in attendance; and grads who married Kemptville grad.

It was not the first time that Year ’67 won the Sprit Award. The class is indebted to the dedication of its Alumni Reps – Dennis Dick of Bloomfield (back row L) and Ellen Mooney of Kanata (front row L) who work tirelessly to keep members connected.

Year ’67 had 24 class members in attendance at the 2022
Kemptville Reunion and won the Sprit Award.
Photo by Margaret Link.
More reunion photos: https://kcalumni.ca/reunion/

Year ’67 had 24 class members in attendance at the 2022
Kemptville Reunion and won the Sprit Award.
Photo by Margaret Link.
More reunion photos: https://kcalumni.ca/reunion/

Despite any trepidation one might feel abut reuniting with classmates of a by-gone era, be assured that a Kemptville College reunion is guaranteed to exhilarate and revive your youth.  It’s a highly recommended five-year tonic. As grads, we are all ambassadors for Agriculture and Home Economics, so conversation is easy.

The Alumni Board is already planning for August 19, 2023 – the next Kemptville College Reunion honouring years ending in 3 and 8.  Of course, in keeping with the Kemptville College Alumni family spirit, any grad is welcome to attend any reunion. More details: https://kcalumni.ca/reunion/

Mary Carver is a Kanata-based Professional Home Economist, and member of the Board of Directors of the Ontario Home Economics Association – OHEA.  She is a proud grad of Kemptville College and former instructor who continues to advocate for Food Literacy in the Ontario curriculum.

For media inquiries contact:

Isabel Kinnear Alumni Board Secretary: isabelkinnear@symptico.ca


2022 Scholarship Winners

The Kemptville College Alumni recently presented their two scholarship winners with their money.

In the picture below, on the left is our President, Gordon French presenting to Haleigh-Jo tePlate and next is Aidan Dennis receiving his money from Blair Dow,  Kemptville Alumni Board Member and Algonquin Perth Campus Liaison.                                                              

scholarship

Haleigh-Jo is from Finch ON and is in her second year of Business in Agriculture at Algonquin College, Perth Campus. Her dad Henry graduated from Kemptville in 1982.

She is active on the family farm, Jr. Farmers, 4-H, and the Stormont County Fair Board. Haleigh-Jo will continue her agricultural education at Olds College in Alberta. She plans on becoming a 3rd generation farmer on the dairy and cash crop family farm. She also hopes to someday own a small herd of beef cows. 

Aidan is from Markdale ON and is in his second year of Business in Agriculture at Algonquin College, Perth Campus. Both his grandparents, Keith and Margaret ( Hunter ) Dennis graduated from Kemptville. Upon completion of his diploma, he will be returning to the farm with his father and grandmother. His grandfather recently passed away. They have Dorset sheep. Belgium horses and a Hereford and Charolais cow-calf operation. Aidan has been active in his community, church, Jr. Farmers, and 4-H. His plans are to take over the family farm and apply the knowledge from his diploma courses. 

The Kemptville College Alumni congratulate both these winners and encourage young people to check out the scholarship application form 2023 on the web www.kcalumni.ca  and also on the Kemptville College Facebook page.


Cathy Stockdale ’91 grad receives 4-H Ontario’s most Distinguished Volunteer Award

Cathy and Joe
Cathy and her daughter Rebecca at a 4-H judging clinic.

Three recipients from Ontario were chosen in 2022 to receive the 4-H Ontario Arbor Award. Cathy has spent 30 years volunteering.

Even though her own children, some of who also attended Kemptville programs, are no longer participating in 4-H programs, she continues to lead because of how rewarding it is.  She feels life skills are not taught as much these days and 4-H has picked them up.

4-H volunteers must have shown significant leadership, initiative and made a positive impact on 4-H at various levels.

“You don’t know your self-worth until you hear it from someone else’s mouth. I am very blessed.”

Cathy

One of the 2021 winners, Joe Krol an ’80 grad will also be presented with the same award this weekend since the pandemic prevented presentations last year. Stay tuned for a presentation picture of Cathy and Joe. We have wonderful Kemptville grads!


Our Webmaster

Isaac, our webmaster, has just returned home from his birthday snowmobiling adventure in Golden British Columbia. 

Golden BC
Isaac snowmobiling in the mountains of BC

The Kemptville College Alumni is pleased to have Isaac optimize our website. This is our way of letting the Kemptville College grads know what is happening. Isaac has started his own business SEO North. We wanted to let people know about the business in case anyone needs help with having their website rank higher in Google Search.