October 4, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

King’s student Ron Robert received a standing ovation as the guest speaker at Western University’s School of Occupational Therapy’s 12th Annual Profession Pinning Ceremony, held on September 20, 2019.

Introduced by Dr. Carri Hand, Assistant Professor at the School of Occupational Therapy, Robert spoke on “Reflections of a Senior on Health Care.”

In addition to being a King’s student, Ron, 81, is a spokesperson for the Alzheimer Society of Canada. He spoke about how, upon being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016, he decided he wanted to go to university, something he called “a bucket list item,” which eventually led him to King’s in 2018.

“The study of living with a disability or an impairment is really important to me. It’s why I do what I do,” Robert said. The Profession Pinning Ceremony welcomed incoming Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MScOT) students to the occupational therapy profession.  The students receive occupational therapy pins from Dr. Angie Mandich, Director of the School of Occupational Therapy.

Robert, enrolled in a 3-year Bachelor of Arts with a Political Science Major, spoke about his life, working with people such as former Saskatchewan Premier Tommy Douglas and former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. Of Douglas, he said, “I fell in love with the concept of social justice at that time.”

Robert expressed his admiration for the students he interacts with on a daily basis as King’s and at Western. “I think what I enjoy most out of life is being around youth. I look around and see such a great future for our country,” said Robert. 

“I have met Queens and Kings, Presidents and Prime Ministers. People with a lot of money don’t impress me. Give me a young, bright, smart person – that impresses me, especially how you’re using those smarts,” Robert says.

He added that what he loves about this generation are the acts of kindness he sees every day. He says the social aspect of his academic experience “keeps me going.”

In keeping with the social justice theme, Robert says the current generation reminds him of the 1960s, which saw great demonstrations for civil and gender rights and against the U.S. war in Vietnam.

Robert spoke about what more needs to be done to prevent poverty among children and to improve care for the elderly. “We have to start speaking out and ensure these people are taken care of,” he said, adding the current generation will have to undo many of the mistakes of previous generations.

To read more about Ron Robert, please visit https://www.kings.uwo.ca/about-kings/media-and-communications/newsroom/kings-student-to-appear-on-ctv/