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Concordia’s fall 2018 honorands describe a turning point in their lives

From childhood road trips to balancing night school with a full-time job, 3 of the distinguished recipients recall their formative educational experiences
November 9, 2018
By Ashley Fortier


At this year’s fall convocation ceremonies, Concordia is welcoming 5 new honorands who have made their mark in the fields of art, business and philanthropy.

These distinguished individuals will address the university’s more than 1,840 graduates during ceremonies at Place des Arts on November 19.

In anticipation of the worldly advice to come, here are stories from some of Concordia's fall 2018 honorands about the learning experiences that shaped them — as people and as professionals.

Miriam Roland pursues a never-ending quest for knowledge

In my pre-school years, when the family took car trips, I would stretch out on the back seat and pop up frequently to look out the window and ask whether I had missed anything. That desire to know what was happening in the outside world was reflected in my choice of international relations for my undergraduate degree.  

To increase my awareness, I attended, and continue to attend, numerous lectures — glancing at their topics as quickly as I had glanced through the window of a moving car.

For greater understanding, I narrowed and deepened my focus not only by listening but through participating in numerous organizations related to education, social welfare, political involvement and health. Narrowing further, I studied psychology in order to examine the window of the mind.

Now I’m not lying down in the back of a car — I’m in the driver’s seat.

I still want to know more about what’s going on in this complex, sometimes terrifying, but wondrous world.

Miriam Roland will address the Faculty of Arts and Science on Monday, November 19 at 10 a.m.

Luigi Liberatore learns two crucial early life lessons

I attended school in Italy when I was very young. I was excellent in mathematics, so I developed a great friendship with my mathematics teacher, Franco Bruni. He was very influential to me, because he talked very little but was clear and precise in his thoughts. He taught me my first important lesson in life: that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Don’t mess around; just get things done.

My father, Gaetano Liberatore, was extremely patient and thoughtful. He taught me that the most important thing in life is to deliver. Undersell and over-deliver. If you promise somebody something, make sure you deliver more than you promised.

These were the two greatest lessons I learned.

When my father got sick, I was in my early 20s. I left university to make sure we could keep operating our family business. I grew it from a very small company with about three or four employees to a public company with a few thousand employees. Of course, not all ventures succeed, but that's how you learn. Learning is the sum of your errors — just make sure you don't repeat them!

Louis A. Tanguay décrit un point tournant de sa vie

J’ai commencé ma carrière à Bell Canada comme technicien avec un diplôme d’études secondaires comme seul bagage académique.

Au début de ma trentaine, j’étais parvenu à devenir un cadre intermédiaire responsable de quelques 300 employés, mais j’étais le seul à mon niveau à ne pas posséder de diplôme universitaire.

Il était évident qu’avec autant d’années encore devant moi, il fallait que je remédie à la situation. Mais avec une jeune famille et peu de ressources, il n’était pas question de poursuivre des études à plein temps.

L’attrait d’un programme en commerce pour étudiants à temps partiel et la qualité de la formation m’amenèrent à Sir George Williams, devenue l’Université Concordia lorsque j'ai obtenu mon diplôme.

La flexibilité des horaires et la grande disponibilité de cours en soirée me permirent, avec le support inconditionnel de mon épouse Yolande, d’obtenir un baccalauréat en commerce en moins de 5 ans tout en conservant mon emploi à temps plein.

Cette étape s’avéra un point tournant de ma carrière et de ma vie.

Luigi Liberatore and Louis A. Tanguay will address the John Molson School of Business on Monday, November 19 at 3 p.m.

Find out more about 
Concordia's fall 2018 convocation ceremonies.

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