"I felt honoured just to be nominated," says Ritchie (Community Organization Administration, 1999).
"To be named the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus is unbelievable."
Ritchie, the Lethbridge Campus Administrator for Red Crow Community College, overcame numerous obstacles to reach his educational and employment goals. He serves as an inspiration to everyone.
As an adult learner, Ritchie had already conquered alcoholism and homelessness when he arrived at LCC at 32.
"Prior to attending LCC, I was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer in my leg. I endured surgery, chemotherapy and rehabilitation." Ritchie says "My years at the College saw my transition from wheelchair, to crutches, to a cane and finally to walking again on my own. I beat it all in the halls of LCC. I had to complete upgrading when I returned to school. I was constantly kept motivated by my College teachers and the College staff; they are what made me succeed."
At Red Crow Community College Ritchie helps native students with their educational transition to college and university and eases the social transition for students moving off the Blood Reserve.
Ritchie has also worked extensively in the community with the Sik-ooh-kotok Friendship Society and helped develop the Streets Alive shelter. He was active with native clubs at LCCand continues to work in numerous capacities supporting his community and bridging aboriginal culture.
He has since earned a Bachelor of Administration degree from Athabasca University.
"I will continue to work in Adult Education and find ways to give back to those who I will forever be indebted to; Lethbridge Community College, its teachers, counselors and staff."