President congratulates Spring Convocation’s Class of 2023

Class of 2023

The following is a message from York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton to the Class of 2023:

To the Class of 2023, my warmest congratulations! It is my privilege and absolute pleasure to congratulate you in marking this major milestone in your life.

Reaching this important stage in your life is no small feat. But I am confident that no matter what path you pursue from here, you have cultivated skills over the last number of years that will contribute to your success.

President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton

It is common for people to talk about the significant global problems facing the world now – climate change, geopolitical tensions, health crises and systemic inequity. These and other disruptors such as automation and artificial intelligence are contributing to the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) of the world today.

York has been responding to these changing conditions to ensure that our students graduate with the knowledge and broad essential skills that they need through, for example, expanded international and Experiential Education (EE) opportunities. Our C4 course, the Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom, provides students with the opportunity to work in interdisciplinary teams to solve real world challenges with social impact, and our Globally Networked Learning courses bring students from different countries together on Zoom.

At the same time, we are seeking new solutions to address those emerging problems through innovative research and creative works. Most recently, we launched a $318.4-million research project including more than $100 million from the federal government, Connected Minds, with diverse partners to study how AI can benefit society in ways that are socially responsible particularly for vulnerable populations.

Our students have similarly cultivated their own vision of purpose throughout their studies demonstrating ingenuity, determination and resiliency, perfectly positioning them to help reimagine our world into a place that is more equitable, inclusive and sustainable – values that are core to this University.

These values are exemplified by our honorary doctorates, award recipients and the Faculties we are celebrating.

So to our newest grads, you have now joined a network of more than 360,000 York alumni who are making a meaningful difference across diverse spheres of life. I want to encourage each of you to think about what matters to you – whether it is the fight against climate change or social justice or something else – and what contribution you want to make … the world really needs your fresh ideas.

In closing, let us join together to recognize all those who have supported your higher education journey: the community of professors, teaching assistants, administrative staff, classmates, family, partners and friends who have championed you and helped you achieve this transformative accomplishment.

Thank you for choosing York. We look forward to seeing what you will do next!

Congratulations. Bonne chance. Miigwech.