President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton congratulates York’s Class of 2021

Convocation 20221 Featured image for YFile

The following is a message from President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton to York University’s newest alumni:

On behalf of the entire York University community, I would like to offer my sincerest congratulations on your graduation, and to welcome you to the York alumni family.

York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton
York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton

Although the circumstances you are graduating into today are truly extraordinary, I am confident that your education at York has prepared you to succeed, whether you choose to pursue a career, further education or another endeavour. While the pandemic has had profound effects on the ways we live and work, many of the changes we have experienced over the past year were underway long before the first lockdown – the pandemic has simply exposed them or increased the speed at which we felt their effects.

Trends in automation and artificial intelligence, for example, were already changing the ways we looked at work, and the types of roles we were preparing our students to take on. The abilities you have developed during your time at York – like problem-solving, critical thinking and language skills – are broad and transferable, and will serve you well no matter your path through life.

Similarly, York’s commitment to excellence, access, connectedness and impact has ensured that you are graduating as a globally minded citizen with a strong appreciation for serving the public good. Throughout your time at York, you have also demonstrated courage, perseverance and resilience in myriad ways, never more so than over the past year. I hope you will maintain these values throughout your lives and careers, and that you will continue to draw on them to help address the complex global challenges we face today, from homelessness to inequality to climate change, and of course the pandemic.

I look forward to seeing the many ways you will continue to drive positive change in the future, and remain confident that you possess the skills and experience necessary to navigate any challenges you might encounter along the way.

As our university motto reminds us, Tentanda Via: the way must be tried.

Congratulations once again to all of our Class of 2021 graduates, and all my best for a healthy and prosperous future.


Rhonda Lenton
President and Vice-Chancellor