I must admit that my attempts to be humorous have stalled my progress in writing this blog post. As much as I enjoy witty banter as the next person, it just didn’t seem to fit with the topic of convocation. To be honest, the ceremonial regalia, the academic history, the successes of graduates destined to change the world, and the overall pomp and circumstance of the day all don’t fit with the usual repartee I aim for in my posts. But I digress…
Convocation is a very personal experience for all those involved – the graduates, their supportive families, friends who are proud of their accomplishments, and of course, Waterloo’s faculty and staff members (it’s the whole reason we come to work after all). It takes on a different meaning and significance for everyone. Some see it as the end of a chapter; others see it as the most exciting time in their life. Whatever the perspective, there are moments from the day that will be remembered for a lifetime and I’d like to share a few that stand out for me.
The first came when my colleague Jenn and I chatted with the parents of a master’s graduate who told us their son was getting married the very next day! They were so proud of his accomplishments and I think a little amazed by the emotions of all the excitement. On behalf of the entire alumni team, I wish the newlyweds nothing but a lifetime of happiness.
On the marriage theme, the CONVO-sation successfully followed up its debut appearance with more than 650 tweets, including a marriage proposal. And of course, #shesaidyes!
The thing I will remember most and always associate with uWaterloo’s convocation is, following the formal ceremony, a reception offers young and old alike the opportunity to gather and congratulate their newly minted-alumnus. With entertainment compliments of some of the campus’s best musicians, the atmosphere of these receptions is almost indescribable; the excitement of Christmas morning, the sense of accomplishment from completing a monumental task, and the feeling of utter bliss all combined at once. In two words – sheer pride.
Congratulations to all of Waterloo’s newest alumni. I hope there are memories from your special day that you will treasure forever.