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Convocation celebrations take place at U of T

GRADUATION DAY: Convocation ceremonies for U of T Scarborough students take place on June 9 and 10. (Photo by Ken Jones.)

More than 11,400 students will receive U of T degrees

by Tammy Thorne

Beaming students bedecked in academic regalia will stride with pride across the green grass of King's College Circle to Convocation Hall this June to mark the beginning of the next phase of their lives.

As many have done before them, graduands (those who have completed the requirements for a degree but have not yet graduated) will begin their journey by climbing the steps of Convocation Hall, in daily ceremonies beginning June 3 through until June 19. There will be 24 ceremonies in total and more than 11,400 U of T graduates will receive their diplomas. This year, an estimated 1,275 students are expected to graduate from U of T Scarborough in ceremonies on June 9 and 10.

Convocation derives from a Latin term meaning "calling together" and graduation ceremony customs date back to medieval times. One of those long-standing customs is for the University Beadle to officially mark the beginning of the ceremony by carrying in U of T's gold-plated silver mace, decorated with the coats of arms of Ontario, Canada and U of T and other images that reveal the university's cultural origins, such as the beaver.

The chancellor, president, deans and other academic and honoured guests who have taught and inspired the students are on hand to take part the ceremony, as well as congratulate the students, and usher them to the next steps in their lives with words of wisdom and inspiration.

Among those inspirational speakers are honorary degree recipients such as UTSC alumnus David Onley, lieutenant-governor of Ontario. Onley, a distinguished former broadcaster, will be recognized by his alma mater for his lifetime commitment to championing disability and accessibility issues and his pioneering role as a model for those with physical disabilities. Onley will receive his honorary degree in the convocation ceremony on Wednesday, June 10 at 2 p.m.

Onley is just one of 15 extraordinary individuals chosen to receive honorary degrees during spring convocation ceremonies this year. Other notable recipients include University Professor Michael Bliss, one of Canada's most distinguished and internationally recognized historians; former chancellor Vivienne Poy, the first Canadian of Asian heritage to be appointed to the Senate of Canada; and Giller prize-winning novelist M.G. Vassanji.

For more information on ceremonies for U of T Scarborough graduands, click here:

For more information on convocation, visit

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