Graduation day at MRU
By Kelsey Hipkin
“You will succeed.”
So said university President Dave Marshall at Mount Royal University’s June 4 convocation.
Students filed into their seats led by pipers from the Calgary International Airport Pipe Band as parents, friends and faculty looked on.
With the singing of the national anthem and the cursory “turn off your cell phone” announcement, Chair of the Board of Governors, Cathy Williams took to the podium.
“You should feel anticipation about the many possibilities now open to you,” she said. “We at Mount Royal simply feel proud.”
The 10 a.m. convocation included graduates from the Bissett School of Business, Faculty of Communication Studies, Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension, Faculty of Science and Technology and The Mount Royal University Conservatory.
Before the handing out of the degrees, Marshall, in what will be one of his last convocations with Mount Royal since announcing his resignation for next year, told grads, “convocation is without a doubt, the very best day for all of us.”
He said it was a day to set aside all concerns and joked, “we’ve even put aside our concern for [MRU] parking today.”
He gave special credit to both the graduates themselves as well as the faculty who were encouraged to rise for a round of applause after reading from a letter a parent had sent to a faculty member about their son.
“Although my son never said it,” Marshall read, “I know he felt that you believed in his ability. You believed that he could complete the program but more importantly you believed in him as a person. I believe when a student feels validated in such a way that is the greatest gift a teacher can ever give a student. He will not remember everything you ever told him but he will never forget how you made him feel”
Marshall said that he didn’t think anything represented the 99 year tradition of excellence and success of the students at Mount Royal as the faculty did.
He also thanked parents for all their support to grads before telling graduates that it was their day and while it was their time to go out into the world they would be joining the over 75,000 alumni that had graduated from MRU in its 99 years.
Friday’s afternoon convocation saw degrees handed out to graduates from the Faculty of Arts, Athabasca University at Mount Royal University and the Faculty of Health and Community Studies.