Beginning June 3, the long-standing tradition of graduating students crossing a stage to accept a diploma will return to York University’s Keele and Glendon Campuses when 2022 Spring Convocation celebrates with in-person ceremonies for the first time since 2019.
With 26 ceremonies running from June 3 to 18, the 2022 Spring Convocation is the largest in the University’s history and will, for the first time, include both current graduands and recent alumni, giving those who graduated virtually during the pandemic an opportunity to partake in the milestone celebration.
Convocation will kick off with 2020 and 2021 alumni ceremonies on June 3 to 9 (morning) at the Sobeys Stadium (formerly the Aviva Centre) and on June 18 at Glendon Campus. Spring 2022 graduands will attend a ceremony at the Sobeys Stadium June 9 (afternoon) to 17 and at Glendon Campus on June 18.
The event will include several new features this year that reflect two years of planning to improve the flow of the ceremony and the student experience.
The Convocation Office has completely revamped the site plan for Spring Convocation at the Keele Campus, adding more tents in different locations that serve specific purposes, such as robing, diplomas, receptions, and mingling.
The reception tent will feature a larger gifting area and a generous space for students to collect their diploma and have it framed on site. Alumni tables will be set up, so new graduates can connect with alumni representatives to learn how to stay connected to York University.
During the procession, which will have a new flow and direction into Sobeys Stadium, Amy Desjarlais, Waabaakaakakzhe zhaashkeezhgokwe (White Raven Woman with Turquoise Eyes) Ojibway/Potowotomi from Wasauksing First Nation, will perform an honour song on a drum during the opening ceremony for both the alumni and 2022 graduands convocation. Desjarlais is a former knowledge keeper and intuitive/spiritual counsellor for the Centre for Indigenous Student Services at York, and shared the honour song during a previous virtual convocation ceremony.
Convocation-goers will also notice new signage for this year, offering a fresh update to the celebration.
Meghan Baker, manager of convocation and special projects at York, says the planning team is also working to meet President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton’s challenge to become more sustainable and elevate York’s contributions to the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“This is an area we knew we could improve,” said Baker. “Hosting 26 ceremonies, we knew that would be a lot of paper for programs. So, this spring, programs will be on double-sided postcards made from recycled paper with one side in French and the other in English. Both sides will have a QR code that redirects to the digital program online.”
Once the QR code is scanned and the digital program opens, the user can select the appropriate ceremony and find all of the information online. It will also be posted on York’s Convocation website, she said.
All Convocation ceremonies are webcast live and a link to the live feed will be available on the Convocation website.