Students who persevered during the pandemic to complete their degrees in a most unusual fashion will be celebrated this month during a virtual Convocation at Brandon University.
“What a year this has been, and we are extremely proud of everyone who was able to focus on their education in the face of so much tumult,” said BU President David Docherty. “A university education includes mastering specific subject matter, as well as developing the critical thinking skills, judgment, and mental quickness that will serve our graduates well in their successful futures. Never has that been on more consistent display than this year. Our grads are worthy of every celebration.”
The virtual Convocation will feature video versions of all of the traditional elements of an in-person Convocation, pre-recorded and beamed directly to students, their families and friends, and the rest of the community.
“Convocation is a culmination of each student’s academic journey and is a significant moment where they are officially conferred their degrees. It is extraordinarily special,” said University Registrar, Andrea McDaniel, whose office helps coordinate Convocation. “Just like everything else over the past year, we have had to reimagine it due to the pandemic, and we are finding new ways to demonstrate our pride and to help our newest graduates celebrate their accomplishments.”
In some ways, Convocation 2021 actually expands the ceremony, as new technology broadens what’s possible. For example, each faculty at BU will have its own virtual ceremony, rather than some faculties being combined into a single in-person ceremony. This also means Convocation will celebrate more valedictorians — a total of six, rather than the two or three that BU can typically honour.
“We have such great students, with touching and inspiring stories,” McDaniel said. “It is so worthwhile to be able to highlight a few of those who have demonstrated excellent academic performance and made meaningful contributions to Brandon University. I encourage everyone to take a few minutes, when our virtual Convocation is launched, to watch the videos, and to be inspired by the passion and energy that’s on display.”
Degree parchments will be mailed out to graduating students in the weeks following the virtual ceremony.
After the degree conferral portion of the ceremonies, each graduating student will be named individually in a virtual procession. Our video Convocation will also include presentation of significant awards, greetings from the BU Alumni Association, Indigenous greetings, an Indigenous honour song, and the granting of honorary doctorate degrees.
While in-person ceremonies are impossible this year, as they were last year, Brandon University is committed to inviting all graduates whose Convocation was impacted by the pandemic to a future in-person Convocation, once it is safe to do so.
The university is also extending virtual Convocation into the real world as much as possible. Partnerships with Imperial Photo and with Gaspard give graduating students the opportunity to rent cap and gown, to get their portraits taken, and to have lawn signs that celebrate their accomplishments. Brandon University is also adding special keepsakes to the parchment packages that are being mailed out to graduates following Convocation.
More information for graduating students is available at BrandonU.ca/Convocation.
Brandon University’s video Convocation will be released on Thursday, May 27.
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