BRANDON – Tassels were moved from one side of their caps to the next, as Brandon University’s newest alumni marked the symbolic moment when they moved from student to graduate.
Convocation concluded today at BU with two ceremonies, as hundreds of graduates received their degrees from the Faculties of Arts, Science, Health Studies and the School of Music. Combined with yesterday’s ceremony for the Faculty of Education, a total of 587 new BU alumni were minted.
In the morning ceremony, valedictorian Robert Boyce urged his fellow graduates to continue to work hard.
“The future is not some inheritance which has been crafted for us to receive. It is what we make it. Each action we take, each choice, forges what tomorrow will be,” he said.
“Each day build the future you want. Don’t be lulled by promises of a gifted tomorrow, take action, be leaders. Make your vision come true.”
The morning ceremony included graduates from the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Health Studies. Also in the morning ceremony was the presentation of a Lifetime Achievement Award to Gerald Butler.
Butler, a Brandon College graduate, has remained deeply involved with his alma mater, is a fixture at BU alumni events each year, was instrumental in the startup of the BU Foundation, and continues to make significant contributions to Brandon University and to the broader community.
In the afternoon ceremony, which officially concluded the 2019 Convocation, graduates from the Faculty of Arts and the School of Music received their degrees.
Afternoon valedictorian Parker Easter used his address to recognize the unique challenges that many students faced, and have overcome, to achieve their Brandon University degrees, including growing up in poverty, or fleeing war as a refugee.
“That is inspiring,” he said. “Take a moment to recognize that among us, there are some pretty unique stories. We are unique graduates. As you move forward in life, find value in learning from people different than you.”
The afternoon ceremony also included multiple award recipients.
Lifetime Achievement Awards were presented to Tom Mitchell and to David Wilson.
Mitchell, the Archivist Emeritus at BU was recognized for his many contributions to campus, from playing hockey for the Bobcats to administrative work in the 1980s and ’90s as well as his dedication as University Archivist.
Wilson, an institution in the Brandon cultural scene, was honoured for his decades of work bringing unique cultural experiences to the city, including Mosaic Massey and Augustfest, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.
Two awards for teaching excellence were also presented Friday afternoon. Reinhold Kramer received the Senate Excellence in Teaching Award, and Allison McCulloch received the BU Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award. Both were cited for their dedication in the classroom, their genuine passion for teaching and learning, and for the long-lasting influence that they have on their students.
Video archives of all three Convocation ceremonies are available at BrandonU.ca/Convocation.