There is a vibrancy and a sense of excitement that flows across our campus in the spring as we prepare to welcome our graduating students for convocation. It is our honour to participate in fourteen ceremonies this week.

We are honoured to begin a new tradition this year with the inclusion of an Eagle Staff to our convocation ceremonies. The staff was presented to the University in March, and reflects the wisdom, strength, and honour of those that carry it in representation of Nations across Turtle Island.

Convocation recognizes the hard-work and perseverance our students have demonstrated during their time at the University of Waterloo. Their experience here is more than the knowledge they gained in the classroom or the work they conducted in the lab, library or field. It is about the relationships and networks they forged during their time here. Our institution’s rich history and the success of our alumni is rooted in community. As the graduating class transitions from students to alumni, I hope they will continue to stay connected to the Waterloo community.

Convocation signals an important milestone in the academic journey of our students. It is a recognition of years of hard work and commitment that propels them into exciting ventures and careers. This spring, 5761 bachelor's degrees, 212 doctoral degrees, and 1011 master's degrees will be awarded by the University of Waterloo.

This week, we confer honorary degrees on 10 extraordinary individuals who have accomplished great things. They are an inspiration to our campus community, and we know will inspire our graduates as they set their sights to the future.

At the University of Waterloo, we pride ourselves on identifying and solving big, complex challenges facing our world. This happens not only on our campuses, but across the globe through our network of alumni. As the world continues to face multiple major crises that cut across society, health, the environment, technology and the economy, each new graduate is among the future leaders and change-makers who can help address these challenges and build a better future for humanity and our planet.

Waterloo graduates are known for integrating knowledge and problem-solving across disciplines. I look forward to hearing about the passions, the innovations and impact our graduates will have on their communities. 

We all have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to positively impact those around us. Let’s all work together to help shape the world for the better.

On behalf of the University of Waterloo, I wish all our new alumni the very best in the journey ahead.