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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 10, 2016
Canadian Excellence

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Future Students - International

Laurier student leader mentors create first-of-its-kind national student leadership conference

Bob Rae, Lance Secretan and Severn Cullis-Suzuki share leadership skills

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Oct 31/06| For Immediate Release


Melanie Hazelton
Manager, Student Leadership Centre
Wilfrid Laurier University
(519) 884-0710 ext. 3704
cell 519-497-3522


Lori Chalmers Morrison
Public Affairs
(519) 884-0710 ext. 3070

WATERLOO – Student leaders from across Canada and representatives from New York will gather at Wilfrid Laurier University for the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership – the first forum of its kind in the country. The conference, which was developed by the Laurier Student Leadership Centre's student leader mentors, runs from November 9 - 12, 2006 and combines the opportunity to learn skills from internationally acclaimed leadership experts as well as peers.

Keynote speakers include former Ontario premier Bob Rae; Severn Cullis-Suzuki, environmental activist, UN advisor and daughter of David Suzuki; Lance Secretan, international best-selling author and one of the world’s foremost thinkers on leadership and Andy Thibodeau, former student leader and personal development and leadership speaker.

“In addition to the speakers, the conference will incorporate student-led sessions and professionally led skill-building sessions,” explained Melanie Hazelton, manager of Laurier’s Student Leadership Centre. “We hope to encourage student leaders to share challenges and successes, learn new skills and ultimately take tangible leadership ideas back to their institutions.”

These tangible leadership ideas will have applications in many facets of student life, such as residence, student union and athletics, and for peer helpers and leadership mentors.

The motivation and effort of the Laurier student leader mentors involved in developing this conference is something that David McMurray, Laurier’s dean of students, finds both rewarding and inspiring. “These students never cease to amaze me,” McMurray said. “And they never disappoint.”

Following a trip to Florida for the American National Conference on Student Leadership, two of Laurier’s student leader mentors, Corey Norman and Kathryn McIntosh, were so inspired that they decided to create something similar for Canadian student leaders. They applied for university funding, obtained alumni donations and secured corporate sponsors.

“We knew it would be a perfect fit and something that we could put all our efforts into,” explained McIntosh.

Norman describes the conference as a “building block for great things to come” for student leadership in Canada, and hopes to create a “network of people and resources that can make a difference on campuses and communities across the country.”

Organizers hope that the conference will become an annual one. “This is a momentous event that the Laurier community is pioneering,” said Norman. “Ten or 15 years from now when the conference has become an annual event held at campuses across the country, Laurier will be known as the school where it all started.”

For further information about the speakers and conference details, please visit:


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