Virtual convocation celebration for the Class of 2021 planned for June 29

Convocation sign on Aviva Centre

York University will pay tribute to its newest alumni with a virtual Graduation Celebration on Tuesday, June 29. The virtual event has been created in place of traditional convocation ceremonies and is necessary due to the ongoing public health concerns resulting from COVID-19 and the restrictions on public gatherings. Once it is again safe to do so, graduates from the Class of 2021 will be honoured at an in-person convocation.

Convocation sign on Aviva CentreThe 2021 Graduation Celebration will have many elements of a traditional convocation ceremony, including an Honour Song and the national anthem, along with recorded remarks from York University Chancellor Gregory Sobora, President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton and Faculty deans. During the virtual event, graduands will experience the ceremonial conferral of degrees. There will also be a special surprise convocation message from a previous honorary degree recipient. The event is pre-recorded and will premiere live at the times on a schedule that has been compiled for the different Faculty and program times. The full schedule is available on the Convocation website.

“Each graduate will be recognized during the Graduation Celebration with a personal slide that will list their name and degree and their name will be announced. Graduands were also given the opportunity to upload a photo of themselves to be shown as part of the virtual event,” says Liz McMahan, manager of convocation and ceremonials.

Faculty and staff can join the event by finding the links to the celebrations on the Convocation website, says McMahan. The celebrations will also be available for on-demand viewing following the livestream. “Since the Faculties of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) and Health have so many graduates, they will have multiple virtual celebrations,” adds McMahan. “Faculty, staff and graduates from LA&PS and Health will want to make sure they refer to the schedule of specific programs being recognized at each celebration.”

Clare Pellerin
Clare Pellerin

Earlier this month, York community members were asked to share short videos of themselves congratulating the grads. These will be shown along with music from violinist and alumna Clare Pellerin (MA ’17) during the preshow, which begins 15 minutes before each virtual ceremony. Family and friends can also follow the Convocation Celebration hashtag at #YorkUConvo.

Graduates have been invited to place themselves virtually on York’s campuses through a virtual photo booth. All York community members are welcome to check out the photo booth. As an added element, York University is offering a suite of digital assets, including Zoom backgrounds, GIF stickers and Augmented Reality filters. Graduates can also listen to or submit songs for the York University Class of 2021 Spotify playlist. All of the digital assets can be found on the main Convocation website.

The University also delivered special Graduation Celebration boxes to all graduands. Each personalized package was packed with care by York University staff and contains the student’s diploma, cap and tassel, a convocation program and some other special items to help them celebrate.

To learn more, visit the York University Convocation website.