On the evening of Wednesday, June 12th, 2019, I had the pleasure of attending the School of Accounting and Finance’s (SAF) convocation ceremony, celebrating the graduation of 250 Accounting and Financial Management (AFM) students, 23 Computing and Financial Management (CFM) students, 15 Master of Taxation students, and 2 PhD of Accounting students. This marks the second year in a row where SAF had its own dedicated convocation ceremony, and the first including CFM students, who graduate with the Math faculty on alternating years.
Prior to the ceremony itself, the new SAF graduates were invited to attend a pre-convocation reception at Fed Hall – including a delicious buffet-style dinner, opportunities for photos and mingling, and an address from SAF Director, Steve Fortin.
After the reception, I headed towards the Physical Activity Complex (PAC), where the evening convocation ceremony would take place. The ceremony commenced with a procession of graduands and university officials, followed by a rendition of the national anthem and welcoming remarks from the Chancellor. As an undergraduate student who will be convocating next year - attending the ceremony was an inspiring experience that enabled me to reflect on my past and future at the University of Waterloo.
|An honorary Doctor of Laws was awarded to Kevin Dancey, former president and CEO of CPA Canada and current CEO of the International Federation of Accountants, in recognition of his significant contributions to the Canadian and global accounting profession.|
|The Distinguished Teacher Award was received by Professor Steve Balaban, in appreciation of his efforts to incorporate interactive learning techniques into his lesson plans, his genuine interest in mentorship and helping students succeed, and his constant desire to improve his teaching abilities and the learning environment.|
|The Faculty of Arts Alumni Gold Medal was presented to AFM graduate Mia Yang, an award given to one graduating student in each faculty who has demonstrated outstanding academic performance.|
Valedictorian Jacqueline Sue, graduating with a Bachelor of Accounting and Financial Management (BAFM) and a minor in Human Resources Management, addresses her peers in a heartfelt, reflective speech.
Recognizing that the CFM and AFM programs, though different in many regards, have shared much of their initial journeys together – she explains in a manner that they can all understand: a balance sheet.
“If you think about it, our journey here was a journey of finding balance. Within our balance sheet we all had liabilities – I prefer to call them challenges - that we all faced during our time here.”
She implores her peers to reflect on the positives alongside the negatives, as they leave their undergraduate journey with more purposeful questions that they entered with.
“What I have learned in these past 5 years is that we also need to not allow these challenges to overshadow the assets in our lives – the things and experiences that provide our lives with meaning and texture.”
To conclude her address, Jacqueline reminds the Class of 2019 of all that they have achieved, and all that is still to come in the future.
“Today, you begin a new journey. Find your balance. Seek out challenges. Overcome those challenges. Turn those challenges into assets. Make time for those who matter. Invest in yourself. But for today, take time to reflect and appreciate on how far you’ve come, and how much you’ve grown since entering that very first Accounting 101 lecture.”
Congratulations to all of our new graduates for all their hard work and accomplishments!