Childhood pals are all part of the same graduating class within the same faculty at the University of Regina

By Dale Johnson Posted: June 7, 2018 9:45 a.m.

(l-r) Sheena Gaetz, Environmental Systems Engineering; Rene Lavoy, Industrial Systems Engineering; Brayden Schuette, Industrial Systems Engineering; Chayla Exner, Environmental Systems Engineering; and Celine Bierman, Industrial Systems Engineering went to elementary together – and now they have all earned engineering degrees at the U of R.
(l-r) Sheena Gaetz, Environmental Systems Engineering; Rene Lavoy, Industrial Systems Engineering; Brayden Schuette, Industrial Systems Engineering; Chayla Exner, Environmental Systems Engineering; and Celine Bierman, Industrial Systems Engineering went to elementary together – and now they have all earned engineering degrees at the U of R. Photo: U of R Photography

Convocation is a special time, as students – as well as their families and friends – celebrate the conclusion of their academic careers and the launch to the working world.

But this Spring Convocation is particularly special for five engineering students, as they attended South Shore Elementary School in Regina Beach together and stayed friends throughout high school.

“We’ve been close all through elementary and high school. Everyone at the Beach knows each other. We’re friends and we hang out,” says Rene Lavoy, who’s earning a degree in Industrial Systems Engineering.

For Sheena Gaetz, who’s graduating with a degree in Environmental Engineering, having a group of old friends on day one of university was a big help.

“I always had someone to help me when classes got tough. Because we grew up together, the transition and journey through university was much easier knowing there was always someone who could help me, whether it was with school work, providing support or just someone to hang out with,” she says.

“We did a lot of group projects together, including labs. We always had someone we knew we could rely on. It’s nice to have other people you know well who are in the same boat as you,” says Lavoy.

Associate Dean of Engineering and Applied Science David deMontigny says it’s remarkable and unusual to see so many students from the same elementary and high schools go on to earn degrees within the same faculty from the same university.

After Convocation, though, it seems the group will be going their separate ways as they settle in different parts of the country to launch their careers.

No matter where their careers may take them, the bond of childhood, as well as together earning their Engineering degrees at the University of Regina will unite them — and, of course, they can count on seeing each other again soon at an alumni gathering.