Let’s celebrate the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022

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The excitement was palpable across university campuses across Ontario as many universities welcomed their students back to campus to take their in-person graduation and receive their diplomas.

In recognition of their dedication and resilience, many graduates from the Classes of 2020 and 2021 were also invited to join this year’s cohorts to commemorate their achievements and celebrate the first in-person convocation in over two years.

The celebrations included notable leaders within local communities and around the world who shared heartfelt messages of congratulations to this year’s expanded class, including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, local First Nations Chiefs and Steven Page of The Barenaked Ladies, to name a few.

Below is a snapshot of some of the special moments that took place across the province to celebrate and recognize Ontario university graduates.

For the first time since 2019, Algoma University celebrated the academic achievements of its graduating students during an in-person convocation ceremony held at the Roberta Bondar Hall on the Sault Ste. Mary at the water’s edge. Algoma University Chancellor Mario Turco conferred degrees on the Class of 2022.

Algoma Instagram Convening Post

The last of Brock University nine spring convocation ceremonies were held in mid-June, marking the close of the first in-person celebrations in more than two years and the convocation of students in seven faculties. All nine Brock University ceremonies were available live for those unable to attend in person.

Instagram post of Brock summons

To Carleton Universitythree years of graduates attended Carleton’s first in-person convocation ceremonies since 2019. This provided a unique opportunity for several years of graduates to celebrate together, including brother and sister Nick and Elisa.

The 2020, 2021 and 2022 graduates had the opportunity to reconnect with friends and celebrate in person at University of Guelph #GradGala, an enhanced graduation experience that included a music-themed barn, arcade, piano lounge, graduate cafe and more.

To Lakehead Universitygraduates and their families were invited to join the convocation virtually, which incorporated many Lakehead convocation customs and traditions, including congratulatory messages from local First Nations leaders, Chancellor Rita Shelton Deverell, President Moira McPherson, as well as faculty members from all departments.

Lakehead's Instagram Convening Post

To mark their place in the world, graduates of from Laurentian University the spring convocation was given a pine seedling to take home and plant, serving as a lasting reminder of their momentous day.

Since the convocation is traditionally a time of celebration with family and friends, McMaster University graduates expressed how happy they were to return to campus and celebrate in person. Twelve graduation ceremonies were held in May and June to mark the achievements of graduates from the university’s six faculties. Those unable to attend in person were given the option to tune in virtually from anywhere in the world through a dedicated live stream.

Nipissing University hosted eight convocation ceremonies over four days, including three ceremonies where the graduates of 2020 and 2021 had the opportunity to officially walk across the stage and celebrate alongside the class of 2022.

To celebrate a return to the in-person convocation, OCAD University hosted students from several faculties who graduated at Roy Thomson Hall. Friends and family members attended morning and afternoon ceremonies with festivities broadcast live in 45 countries around the world.

During convocation, many students will take their families and loved ones to visit the city they called home while in college. To help graduates plan their celebrations in Oshawa, Ontario University of Technology partnered with the City of Oshawa to promote the Oshawa Spring Guide – an overview of photography locations, dining options, experiences and accommodations to share with family and friends.

Oshawa Spring Guide

To celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s graduates and those unable to attend in person in 2021 and 2020, the University of Ottawa welcomed students back to campus for the convocation – the first in-person convocation since the pandemic began.

University of Ottawa Instagram Convocation Post

To Queen’s Universitythe graduates traveled to downtown Kingston, where 10 convocation ceremonies were held over a week-long period, celebrating the achievements of the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022.

On June 22, Canadian university students had the privilege of participating in a live virtual address by President Zelenskyy hosted by the University of Toronto.

President Zelenskyy’s speech was broadcast live to university students across Canada. He spoke about the importance of sharing information and advocating for democracy and participated in a live question and answer period with students in person.

As Metropolitan University of Toronto graduates took the in-person convocation stage this year, the procession included a furry addition – an emotional support dog named Bao Bao, who sported a custom robe made by the Toronto Metropolitan Ceremonies Team.

Toronto Met Instagram Callout Post

Trent University celebrated convocation over an eight-day period, recognizing the classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 in person. To commemorate the celebrations, Trent asked grads what their favorite part of graduation was, with grad students making special mention of the importance of celebrating as a family.

Trent University Instagram Convocation Post

At University of Waterloo2020 and 2021 alumni returned to campus to join this year’s class and participate in a traditional convocation ceremony.

In recognition of each graduate’s unique experience at Waterloo, local artist Nicole Beno was commissioned to create an artwork that symbolizes each graduate’s memories, knowledge and friendships.

Invitation in person returned to Western University with a series of ceremonies celebrating the Class of 2022 throughout June, and the Classes of 2021 and 2020 at ceremonies throughout the first week of July. Graduate students will join a community of more than 330,000 Western alumni in 160 countries around the world.

Western University Instagram Convening Post

Wilfrid Laurier University celebrated the accomplishments of its graduating students with in-person convocation ceremonies at its Brantford and Waterloo campuses, while also hosting in-person graduation celebrations for the classes of 2020 and 2021. Many graduates were blessed to experience a convening speech and live performance by honorary graduate Steven Page of The ladies barenaked.

Laurier's Instagram Convocation Message

The University of Windsor welcomed back students, faculty and family members for the first in-person graduation celebration in over two years. Celebrations took place during 10 concurrent calling ceremonies, celebrating the graduating classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022.

Windsor Instagram Convening Post

This year, York University celebrated a record-breaking convocation season, with 26 in-person ceremonies recognizing the achievements of the Class of 2022 and those who were unable to attend in person in 2020 and 2021.

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