By Will Hoyle
The Jack Simpson Gymnasium was dressed to the nines for fall convocation, which featured a fresh design for this year’s 40th anniversary, Tues., Nov. 4.
“Convocation is a momentous event,” said Sheila O’Brien, special advisor to the president on student life. “It is a ceremony acknowledging years of hard work and dedication, and our students deserve to be celebrated in great style.”
O’Brien led the initiative to redesign the convocation setting as part of the Take Your Place program, which renovated or created 40 new student spaces across campus.
The design changes, which include lighting, banners and a new colour scheme, are meant to be permanent and create a more intimate setting for students, explained U of C ceremonies officer Brenda Tweedie.
Design was not the only new aspect of Tuesday’s proceedings. U of C chancellor and senate chair Joanne Cuthbertson–the first chancellor to have graduated from the University of Calgary–presided over her first convocation.
U of C President Dr. Harvey Weingarten told graduates the story of education graduate Andrew Brash, who quit his dream of climbing Mount Everest to help an injured Australian climber who had been left for dead, and eventually saved the man’s life.
“Know when to stop and help and not to walk on by,” Weingarten advised.
Mary-Wynne Ashford, a 1981 MD alumna and a distinguished speaker for the nuclear disarmament movement, addressed graduates at both ceremonies. She served as the co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, a group which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985.
During Tuesday’s ceremonies more than 1,300 graduates joined the 120,000 alumni that have graduated worldwide since 1966.