Donning the ceremonial robes and cap of office for the first time, Dr. David Docherty was formally Installed as Brandon University’s 15th President and Vice-Chancellor on Thursday afternoon at Convocation.
“It is an honour to be here,” Dr. Docherty acknowledged in an address to the Convocation crowd. “We have a great past and are poised for a brilliant future.”
Speaking to the graduating students who were assembled to receive their degrees, Dr. Docherty recalled his own memories of a day spent with storied Brandon College alumnus Stanley Knowles and encouraged new graduates to live up to Knowles’ example.
“Graduates, you are joining a group of alumni that is embodied by people like Stanley Knowles, a group that is characterized by leadership and by intelligence, by passion and by compassion, by honesty and by humility,” he said. “I know you will live up to that example and that you will set your own example for those who follow. You will make all of us at BU proud.”
He specifically called on all graduates and alumni to carry professionalism and a strong moral compass into their workplaces, to be proud of their BU degrees as preparation for future academic success, and to be caring and responsible in their communities.
While he assumed the role of President on May 1, after his appointment by the Board of Governors, Installation is a formal ceremony and public celebration for Dr. Docherty to take the oath of office, and to share his vision for the future of Brandon University.
“I have spent the past month meeting with as many people as possible, hearing their stories and aspirations for themselves and for BU. I will continue to hear from students, faculty, staff, alumni, the broader community on where they see Brandon University flourishing and how to make our aspirations our reality,” he said. “We will be forging a strategic direction for BU that sets bench marks for our success and growth in the years ahead and allows us to dream large.”
Representing two of the multiple overlapping communities that make up the diversity of Brandon University, Dr. Docherty was assisted into his ceremonial robes of office by the President of the Brandon University Students’ Union and the Vice-Chair of the BU Board of Governors.
Other post-secondary institutions joined in the celebration, with nearly 30 sending official greetings from across the country. Several institutions also sent representatives to attend Installation, including Universities Canada.
In his address, Dr. Docherty cited institutional cooperation as a priority.
“We will work with our partner institutions, and with the province, to provide exceptional opportunities for all Manitoba learners,” he said. “Brandon University has such a wonderful future, great partners, a storied history and resides in a vibrant community … Let’s go out there and show everyone why BU is the best university of our size in Canada.”
The Presidential Installation was the first major part of Convocation’s Thursday afternoon ceremony, which also included the conferral of 181 degrees to graduates from BU’s Faculty of Education, and the presentation of multiple awards.
Convocation continues Friday, with a morning ceremony for the Faculties of Science and Health Studies at 10 a.m. and an afternoon ceremony for the Faculty of Arts and the School of Music at 2 p.m.
Nearly 590 students will graduate during Convocation, slightly more than last year and Brandon University’s largest graduating class since 2013. More than 80 per cent of graduates have indicated they will attend their Convocation ceremonies.
Everyone is welcome to attend any or all of the ceremonies, as Convocation is a community celebration. Convocation is held at the BU Healthy Living Centre, on Louise Avenue at 20th Street. There is no charge to attend.
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