Steve Paikin tells grads to stay the course of their dreams

Every door that slams in your face is progress, Steve Paikin told graudands during the final Spring Convocation ceremony for students in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies (LAPS).

Steve Paikin

Paikin, a journalist, was the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws at the June 21 ceremony and shared a few words with students about life after graduation.

He is best known as the host of TVO’s flagship current affairs program, The Agenda with Steve Paikin, which explores social, political, cultural and economic matters, and broadens the discussion on issues important to Ontarians.

He has moderated three federal and three provincial election leaders’ debates and has authored several books about politicians, including one about Ontario’s 18th premier, Bill Davis.

Paikin, who places high importance on education, is currently Chancellor of Laurentian University. He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2013 and appointed to the Order of Ontario the following year.

Opening with a nod to outgoing York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri, and a tribute to Chancellor Greg Sorbara, Paikin said “there is no other chancellor anywhere in the world that I would rather receive this marvelous honour from”.

Chancellor Greg Sorbara, Steve Paikin and President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri

In an effort to keep his speech short and to the point, Paikin told grads he had two pearls of wisdom to offer, the first being “I hope you were nice to your classmates”.

He stressed the importance of creating amicable and positive connections with peers, because one of them could one day become your boss – which happened in his own experience.

Paikin’s second piece of advice was to persevere to follow a passion.

“If you feel you are absolutely, positively meant to do that work, you mustn’t give up until you get there,” he said, reminding grads that every door that slams in your face is progress.

“Remember this advice when it feels too hard and too impossible, and when you’ve received another rejection letter.”

There will be rocky roads, and unexpected challenges, but giving up shouldn’t be an option.

“So keep going keep standing out, keep being outstanding, work hard, have fun, and do what you have now been so well educated to do,” he said.