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Convocation is a time for celebration — all that hard work finally paid off! Family, friends, and the university community join in to say, "Congrats, grads, you did it."
Leaping into the future. Electrical Engineering grad Jordan Dolman jumps for joy in front of the Three Bares in the dell on lower campus.
Fun mementoes. Aunt Maria Zhao presents Bachelor of Commerce grad Yuandong Deng with a furry friend
White glove treatment. Dentistry graduate Jason Retter gives James Lund, dean of the faculty, a pair of white gloves, which symbolizes that the entire class graduated.
Blooming for joy. Brandon Desyatnik of Convocation Flowers carries buckets full of roses. Selling hundreds of bouquets daily during convocation, Desyatnik says, "The long hours are rewarding. It makes people happy."
On to the next stage! Chair of the Board of Governors Robert Rabinovitch, Chancellor Richard W. Pound, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Heather Munroe-Blum walk down the hill to convocation.
Anticipation. Brand-new MBA Raveen Sastry in Redpath Hall while waiting for the marshal's orders to file out to the big tent.
A job well done. Honorary doctorate recipient Pierre Jean Jeanniot with Dean of the Desautels Faculty of Management Peter Todd. Civil aviation leader Jeanniot told the Desautels Faculty of Management graduates "Walk the talk: when the status quo is challenged it's the only way to make change — acceptance of risks and consequences takes courage."
A family affair. "We're so proud!" says Sandra Sanders of her son Mark. It's all smiles for this computer engineering graduate, seen here with his grandmother Mona, his sister Laura (also a McGill student), his mom Sandra and his dad Gary.
A busy four years. Husband Arthur Pang and daughter Kate Pang celebrate Ji Hua's graduation. Kate was born four years ago this August, just as Hua started her Bachelor of Commerce degree.
Secretary General Johanne Pelletier, with Chair of Human Genetics David Rosenblatt, left, is calm but clearly excited amidst the confusion outside of Arts Building Room 160, before Tuesday's Health Sciences convocation. That's where all the faculty, staff and guests don their robes before filing out to the convocation stage on lower campus.
Pelletier's office, the Secretariat, is in charge of organizing the event and this is her first year at the helm, which means sitting on stage for each one.
"Convocation is quite a moving experience to watch," she says. "You see the look on the families' faces and feel the excitement."
And during the Arts Convocation June 1, Pelletier breaks out of her role as secretary general by standing up and walking over to accept her masters degree in art history and communications, before circling back to her seat.
She finished her work for her second MA in December. She already has a BA in psychology from McGill, as well as another MA from the University of Toronto in history.
"I've had four ceremonies to reflect on what it means to be a student. I'm much more appreciative of convocation for myself as a ritual. Before, I would've come for my parents, but now I appreciate the hard work of working full time and studying."
You have experienced an environment where the pursuit of knowledge is the ultimate goal; where the exchange of ideas, and — often most importantly —provocative and controversial ideas, is encouraged; where we respect, fundamentally, our academic freedoms. And, we know that along with our wonderful freedoms, and our good fortune, come special responsibilities — responsibilities to promote learning, to speak out, and, to act for what you believe in, on behalf of yourself and of the society in which you live.
And as you do — three pieces of simple but important advice derived from an ancient scholar: Take care of yourself. If you are not for yourself, then who will be? Strive to make the world a better place. If you are only for yourself, then you will have failed. Don't be afraid to act, to give something back to your community, your profession, your country and your world.
Celebrate, savour this day!
—Principal Heather Munroe-Blum
to the graduates at the Convocation for the Faculty of Science