Scenes from a convocation

One of my favourite parts of the academic year is convocation. Not just because it signals the beginning of summer, but because of the opportunity to celebrate our students’ years of hard work. I forget from one year to the next how excited students are at convocation: they recognize what a milestone it is and that it marks the beginning of the next stage of their lives, even if, in some cases, they aren’t sure what that is just yet.

For the third year in a row, I was privileged to be the marshal at all three ceremonies at Laurier’s Brantford campus (one co-hosted with Nipissing University for our Concurrent Education students and then one each for our Faculty of Liberal Arts and Faculty of Human and Social Sciences students). While most, if not all, of the other faculty present at convocation sit on stage, with the rest of the platform party (the university chancellor, president and various distinguished guests), the marshal leads the student procession to convocation (and gets to wield the marshal’s baton, which students always say looks like something from Hogwarts. Expecto, alumni!). At the Brantford campus, this involves a walk through downtown to the Sanderson Centre.

The Laurier Alumni association did a great job of documenting convocation on social media. Here’s a short video of me leading students in the procession to the Sanderson Centre:
We’re always led by a piper:

It’s students as far as the eye can during the procession along Dalhousie Street:
Some of the alumni photographers were really getting into the spirit of celebration with photos of convocation shoes:

They even captured some of the gentlemen’s shoes, which I thought was a nice touch:

Honourary degrees were presented at each of the ceremonies. The Expositor has great write-ups about each of the recipients: Ron Jamieson, co-chair of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal business; Walter Gretzky, Canada’s foremost hockey dad and noted philanthropist and Ursula Franklin, a pioneering scientist, pacifist and feminist.

There’s also a good write-up (and a front-page photo!) about convocation in the new issue of The Sputnik: