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Bluesfest founder graduates from Carleton after 35 years

He's set to receive a degree in mass communications
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2018-07-12 bluesfest crowd
The crowd at RBC Bluesfest. Photo/ Bluesfest via Twitter

Mark Monahan, the founder, executive and artistic director of Ottawa Bluesfest is receiving a degree from Carleton University, 35 years after having first started it.

In an interview with Mark Sutcliffe, the music mogul reveals that he attended the university between 1980 and 1984 for mass communications, but never completed the program.

"Short story is that I didn't have enough credits and never went back. Last year, I went to find out what did I needed to graduate and it was two courses, two credits! So went back and did those credits this past fall in winter term and now, I'm going to graduate tomorrow," he says.

Monahan credits a colleague with encouraging him to contact the school's admissions department and find out what was missing to complete his degree. He also mentions having multiple motivating factors in his decision to do so.

"I have four daughters- one who's probably going to graduate next year at Carleton next year and I thought, 'You know it would be nice to go back and finish," he says.

To make this happen, Monahan returned to campus to attend two, three hour lecture classes. An experience the self-declared proponent of education describes as a culture shock, what with the spread of tech devices and being surrounded by younger classmates and teachers. Overall, Monahan says he learned a lot and saw the experience as a beneficial one.

"I think that when people go to university, a lot of people are struggling with what that university degree is going to get them. My daughters are doing that right now," he says, adding, 'Where is this going to lead? Why do I need it? What kind of job am I going to get?' People often think of it in the context of their career. Now, I'm not thinking of it so much in the context of my career, but it's just a personal achievement and I think in some ways, that's more satisfying."




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