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When the gleefully tossed mortarboards have finally landed, some 6,100 people will have graduated as part of the Class of 2007. By the end of Convocation Week, thousands more—friends and family of the graduates—will have clicked thousands of photos: beaming grad with beaming parents; beaming grad with beaming classmates; beaming grad with the ever-stoic James McGill, etc.
It is easy to get mesmerized by the sheer numbers of Convocation and lose sight of the fact that it really is a celebration of each individual graduate. It marks the completion of their studies, a public recognition of their private toil and travails. Every student who crosses the floor to accept their diploma carries with them a unique tale of triumph.
Make no mistake, McGill demands as much from its students as the rigorous admission standards imply. That bargain is struck before the first file of the first year is saved as "HELP!!.doc." These people are the best and the brightest, and their success—both realized and yet to come—is as much a product of the passion that propelled them from uncertainty to pride, from exhaustion to elation.
It is easy to label each graduate as "a product of McGill." After all, this is the school in which they have learned many of their most valuable lessons. As history has proven time and time again, McGill has equipped them with the desire to want to make the world a better place and the tools with which to do it. But McGill is just as much a product of its students, who transform its brick and mortar corridors into arteries coursing with ideas and promise, and who, out in the world after the mortarboards have been picked up, give the name its true worth.
It is with utmost pride and confidence that we celebrate each and every member of the Class of 2007.