Southern: Curiosity and courage are key

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In recognition of her accomplished career in economics and industry, Nancy Southern, Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer of ATCO Ltd., was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LLD) at the Friday afternoon session of Western’s 310th Convocation.

Southern, who also serves as Executive Vice-President of Spruce Meadows and is a founding director of AKITA Drilling Ltd., a director of Sentgraf Enterprises Limited, an honorary director of the BMO Financial Group and serves on the Rideau Hall Foundation Board of Directors, spoke to graduates from the Faculty of Arts & Humanities and the Faculty of Social Science, asking them to look toward a future with curiosity, imagination, determination and courage.

“Whether you pursue a career in industry, the body politic, the judiciary, academics or the arts, remember successful leaders have a penchant for discovery. Their curiosity and interest in the people and the world around them drives constant improvement,” Southern said.

“Imagination is something we don’t talk about enough but it is the ability to envision dreams that will change the world around you and encourage others to participate in achieving your dreams. It is not proprietary; each of us possesses it. Imagination underpins innovation,” she added.

Southern encouraged graduates to be determined and to stand tall in all of their pursuits.

“The unrelenting desire to achieve is one of the most valuable assets you will ever own and no one can take it away from you. It is not enough to be gifted or educated. Those with determination know what it is like to struggle and endure and they appreciate the work it takes to succeed,” she said

“And in work, as in life, courage just requires one act – deciding to take one step into the unknown. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and the status quo, your ability to face the unknown with courage – you should aspire to nothing less.”