Campus will heat up to 6,300 degrees for Convocation this week
The University of Waterloo is preparing to host its one hundred and eighteenth Convocation ceremony from June 11 to 15 this week, with 12 ceremonies in the Physical Activities Complex that will see more than 6,324 graduands cross the stage to receive their degrees and diplomas.
Among the many awards and honours handed out include honorary doctorates, distinguished teaching awards, awards for excellence in graduate supervision, and Honorary Member of the University and Distinguished Professor Emeriti designations. Additionally, this spring will see the awarding of the first University of Waterloo President’s Award of Excellence, which, in tandem with the Governor General's Silver Medal, will recognize the top graduating student in each Faculty, based on highest GPA. The Convocation website has been updated to include the 2019 Honorary and Award Recipients and the 2019 Valedictorians for this week's convocation ceremonies.
One undergraduate from each Faculty will also be awarded an Alumni Gold Medal, which is now being 'forged' right here on campus, thanks to the fine folks at the Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing Lab.
The Convocation ceremony begins with a series of academic processions: first, the procession of the graduating students into the venue, followed by the faculty, who enter behind the students walking two by two in their academic finery, and finally the Chancellor's procession, comprised of active ceremony participants as well as the University's senior administration. At the head of the Chancellor's party at each ceremony, the University's mace is carried by a designated mace-bearer representing the Faculty whose students are graduating that day.
As ceremonial head of the University of Waterloo, the Chancellor presides over Convocation ceremonies and awards all degrees, diplomas and certificates. The Chancellor will address graduands and inspire them at these ceremonies. When the Vice-Chancellor introduces the conferring of degrees, a convocation marshal will direct each group of graduands to rise and proceed, row by row, to the stage, and a hood that coincides with their degree/program will be placed over the graduating students' heads at the same time when they receive congratulations from the President, Chancellor, or Vice-President Academic & Provost on the stage.
All of the convocation ceremonies take place in the Physical Activities Complex (PAC) on the Waterloo campus. After each ceremony, graduates and their guests are invited to an informal reception in the Great Hall of the Student Life Centre. The University Club is also running a special Convocation lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday.
The Convocation ceremonies will be livestreamed.
Public piano project hits all the right notes
This article was originally published on Waterloo Stories.
You may hear a familiar sound on campus as upright pianos return to University grounds.
The project, known as Open Pianos in University Spaces (OPUS), was first introduced last year by Max Salman, a PhD student in the Faculty of Science. One year later, the program has grown in size, adding two more pianos (four in total), three new locations and a new partnership with the music program at Conrad Grebel University College.
Salman, who himself plays improv jazz, wanted to encourage a greater sense of community on campus and provide students with an outlet for their mental health.
“Music is one of those cardinal elements of humanity, that takes you out of a particular state of mind,” says Salman. “Whenever I feel down or troubled, I find comfort in playing the piano or listening to music.”
And Salman isn’t alone in that feeling.
The PhD student says feedback surrounding the project has been generally positive and, in some cases, reported to him as being life-saving.
“I was playing on one of the pianos and someone came up to me and was crying,” says Salman. “He said ‘these pianos saved my life.’ When I heard that, that sent me into a completely different mindset."
It’s caught the attention of others too, with passersby’s pausing to listen, play and unplug from their busy schedules. It’s also encouraged some to flex their creative muscle.
“I got an email just last week that people are now bringing more instruments,” says Salman. “I’ve heard of people bringing a harmonica, guitar and people will just jam.”
Piano locations include: architectural engineering Maker Space in CPH (indoor), south commons (outdoor), underneath the bridge between math and DC (outdoor) and the engineering quad near CPH (outdoor).
In the future, Salman hopes to bring more pianos to open spaces on campus and is calling on other members of the Waterloo community to become involved in the project. His ultimate dream is to one day host a music event where students, their families and local artists come together to enjoy a recital-of-sorts on campus.
“Waterloo is a very innovative university… and I think we need to really take advantage of the situation that we’re in,” says Salman. “I know that other universities are coming up with their own strategies to deal with mental health, but when you put pianos outside and you make it intentional that it’s for wellness, then that changes people’s perception of what this program means.”
The pianos, which rolled out May 31 of this year, will continue to be on campus throughout the summer and into the cooler months.
Wishing Jason Coolman well and other notes
Jason Coolman, associate vice-president, development & alumni relations, and a fixture at Waterloo for more than 18 years, will soon be heading down University Avenue to begin the next phase of his career as Vice President, Advancement and External Relations at Wilfrid Laurier University.
Friends and colleagues are invited to celebrate Jason’s success on Friday, June 21 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. (a short program begins at 3:30) in the E7 Second Floor Event Space. For more info, email Lisa McAughey or Diana McGaughey in the Office of Advancement.
The main entrance of the University of Waterloo Police Services building is currently inaccessible due to renovations. Signage has been posted to director customers and clients to the temporary entrance at the back of the building, which will remain accessible 24/7.
Anyone with questions can reach out to Police Services at extension 22222 or by calling 519-888-4911.
The Equity Office and the Research, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council invite you to attend a unique opportunity to hear from Waterloo women-identified Deans and senior administrators as they share details about their path to leadership, the ways they overcame barriers and what they wished they had known along the way. The event takes place at Federation Hall at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 19.
The Journey to Leadership event will feature a breakout opportunity for attendees to speak to the panelists individually, engage in dialogue and ask questions about more specific topics. The panelists include:
- Professor Diana Parry;
- Professor Charmaine Dean;
- Professor Pearl Sullivan; and
- Professor Jean Andrey.
The panel will be moderated by Professor Anita Layton.
Light refreshments will be provided.