The first day of Brandon University’s expanded Convocation 2022 celebrated this year’s graduates from the Faculties of Science and Education and the School of Music with two ceremonies today and welcomed back graduates from 2021 and 2020 whose own celebrations had been curtailed by the pandemic.
Reflections on the challenges of the pandemic and what it means for the future were common themes today.
“We have one thing we all share, we are resilient. We all stand here today, ready to graduate and move on to the next chapter despite the enormity of challenges the pandemic has brought us,” said Jenna Zamrykut, one of the Faculty of Education’s co-valedictorians, at this afternoon’s ceremony. “We have been flexible and adaptive, qualities that will make us better educators in our future classrooms.”
Two hundred and twenty-one Education degrees were bestowed at the afternoon ceremony, following a morning ceremony that awarded 35 Music degrees and 96 Science degrees.
Graduates also heard words of wisdom from BU Chancellor Mary Jane McCallum and BU President David Docherty.
“A piece of Brandon University that is precious and dear would surely be missing if you were not with us today – so we could celebrate your achievements, for there are many, and celebrate your graduation with you. Thank you for you have contributed not only to the legacy of Brandon University but to your legacy as a living ancestor,” Chancellor McCallum told the graduates in her address. “We need your smile, your enthusiasm, your youth, your heart and spirit in our world.”
In his greetings, President Docherty acknowledged the difficult world that graduates were entering, with the ongoing pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and a difficult economy. But he also issued an optimistic call to action.
“You also have advantages,” he told graduates. “You are the most motivated, most compassionate, and most emotionally open generation yet. You are aware of and passionate about causes that my generation shamefully dismissed. You are serious about tackling issues of gender and racial inequity, of economic precarity, of climate change. And you have the power to make your voices heard.”
Today’s ceremonies also included award presentations, including a Lifetime Achievement Award presented posthumously to the late Professor Bill Gordon, the Senate Award for Excellence in Teaching, presented to Dr. Joe Stouffer, and two Distinguished Teacher Awards, presented to Lindsey Surridge and Julie Kalinowski. More awards will be presented at tomorrow’s ceremonies.
Brandon University returned to an in-person Convocation this year with one of its largest graduating classes ever.
More than 640 students will receive their degrees at Spring Convocation 2022, a two-day celebration of academic achievement with four separate ceremonies. It’s the largest graduating class since 2010 and one of the largest ever.
Convocation began today and continues tomorrow with ceremonies for the Faculty of Health Studies (at 10 a.m.) and the Faculty of Arts (at 2 p.m.).
Convocation is a community celebration, and all are welcome to help celebrate Brandon University’s newest grads, as they embark on the next phase of their academic journeys or enter their careers. Masks are encouraged. To reduce crowding, please consider viewing the livestream of the Convocation ceremonies at BrandonU.ca/Convocation.
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