College Retiree William Totten Honoured with 2022 Community Partnership Award | St. Clair College
Monday, December 19, 2022
Ida and Bill Totten
Ida and Bill Totten

Today, St Clair College President Patti France announced the recipient of the 2022 College's Community Partnership Award to one of the College's Retiree Association Executive, William Totten, at the annual holiday brunch.

The St. Clair College Community Partnership Award is designed to recognize a community partner or internal (past or present) staff member that has made an outstanding contribution and commitment to advancing the teaching and learning environment for students at St. Clair College.

Here is the speech which President France gave at the holiday brunch:

"We thought this would be an appropriate event to present the St. Clair College Community Partnership Award, which, this year, involves an internal rather than an external recipient.

And it's fitting that I have the privilege of making this presentation.

Since I've been President, I've been asked to speak at least half-a-dozen times, in various venues, about the positive influences in my life and my career and those who have inspired and mentored me along the way.

So, that means that at least half-a-dozen times, in front of various audiences, I've cited the names of two individuals as my earliest and most influential work mentors: the late Joe Korchnak in his role as the Chair of the School of Business, and today's honouree.

In the mid-1990s, these two gentlemen entrusted and encouraged me in my first major task as an employee at the College: to convert the institution's record-keeping from tons and tons of paper stored in dozens upon dozens of filing cabinets to electronic data processing and storage. It was the success in that task that set me on my administrative pathway.

Subsequently, this individual has been my confidant, my counsellor, my sounding board, and my friend.

For all of you, for St. Clair since its inception in 1967, and for the province-wide college system, he has been without peer an advocate, a supporter, a promoter and an innovator.

He created our Convocation process and designed the liripipe and mace still used in today's graduation ceremonies.

He was a founder of our Alumni Association.

He was a President of the Retirees Association for so long that the group eventually just printed "President Emeritus" on his business cards. And he figured that the issues and interests affecting St. Clair's retirees were probably relevant at other schools too, so he helped to found the Ontario College Retirees Association.

He was instrumental in the College's acquisition and development of the Chatham campus.

When he was seconded to the ministry, he helped to establish what is now the Ontario College Application Service, known as OCAS which, ironically, I am currently Chair of that Board today.

He was the College's longest-serving Registrar.

He is still front-and-centre at almost every College-staged event, and we're thrilled he is.

Because, since its founding, no one has represented – no one has embodied – the mission, vision, values and history of St. Clair College more thoroughly and thoughtfully than this man.

Please come forward to accept our 2022 St. Clair College Community Partnership Award Bill Totten.”

In 2021, St. Clair College awarded its inaugural Community Partnership Award to Bruce Krauter, Chief of the Essex-Windsor Emergency Medical Service.