It is so exciting to welcome our graduates and our alumni back to campus for the Spring 2022 Convocation and special alumni convocation celebrations. It is my honour, as the president and vice-chancellor, to participate in these events. 

The pandemic has brought many hardships and losses over the past two years, but it has also provided an opportunity to have us come together this month to recognize our graduates’ accomplishments. The opportunity to mark convocation in a formal, in-person manner is important, and we are pleased to have graduands, their families, and friends back on campus. 

For many of us, convocation is a key milestone in our academic journey. It is a recognition of years of hard work and commitment that propels us into exciting ventures and careers. A year or two removed from completing their degrees, I am especially happy to welcome back the classes of 2020 and 2021 for an in-person event to recognize their efforts, and I hope to provide a platform to reflect on their experiences at Waterloo and how those experiences have shaped the person they are today.

This week, we confer honorary degrees on eight incredible individuals who have accomplished great things. We know our graduates will take inspiration from these individuals as they set out on their own paths of discovery.

As a graduate of the University of Waterloo, those celebrating this milestone join an illustrious community of global thinkers who are making a lasting impact on the world around us. That impact reflects the original vision of the institution’s founders who sought to create a university that would help tackle some of the world’s most daunting challenges.  

The knowledge our graduates gained during their time at Waterloo whether in the lecture hall, lab or elsewhere on campus will play a role in their ongoing success. They persevered through a pandemic and demonstrated their resiliency. As we have learned over the past few years, being resilient is an integral attribute in our lives. 

Our institution’s rich history and the success of our alumni are rooted in community. Our graduates have left an indelible mark on our institution, and I am confident they will maintain a connection to Waterloo. 

The University’s motto “Concordia cum veritate” means “in harmony with truth.” As the graduates of 2020, 2021, and 2022 begin the next chapter of their journey, I encourage them to think unconventionally. We live in a world mired in geopolitical, environmental, and health challenges. Regardless of one’s discipline, we all have a unique opportunity to make a lasting difference in our community and  the world. I encourage our graduates to take what they’ve learned at Waterloo to help shape our world’s future for the better.  

On behalf of the University of Waterloo, I wish the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022 the best of luck in the journey ahead.