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Convocation in the time of COVID-19

By University Advancement and Communications Posted: June 3, 2020 3:00 p.m.

This time last year, University of Regina graduates were walking across the stage at the 2019 Spring Convocation. Today, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Convocation has been reimagined.
This time last year, University of Regina graduates were walking across the stage at the 2019 Spring Convocation. Today, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Convocation has been reimagined. Photo: U of R Photography

Today, June 3, 2020, marks what would have been the first of three days of formal Spring Convocation ceremonies at the University of Regina. 

06-032.jpg
Faculty of Education graduate
Martina Leader is frustrated
with the cancellation of Spring
Convocation ceremonies but
will celebrate intends to
celebrate with family and
participate in the University’s
alternative activities.
Photo: Courtesy of Martina
Leader

While University faculty and staff share in the disappointment of graduates who were looking forward to celebrating their achievements in-person with family, friends, and classmates – they’ve been working hard to reimagine grad for the Class of 2020. 

“Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the first time in our University’s history that we will not gather together in-person to celebrate our graduates’ achievements,” says Thomas Chase, Interim President and Vice-Chancellor. “But the absence of a ceremony in no way diminishes the achievements of our graduates. I congratulate all of them on reaching this milestone in their academic careers.” 

University faculty and staff have come up with a number of creative ideas that, while in no way replace the ceremony, will help graduates celebrate their achievements.

Among the initiatives is a special commemorative program for graduates that will be mailed to them together with their parchment. As well, a special video tribute to graduates has been commissioned and will be posted later this month on the University website and broadcast on Access Communications.

A virtual yearbook has been designed that will allow Spring 2020 graduates to share their memories from their time at the U of R and stay connected with their colleagues. The University is also making “electronic swag” (virtual photo frames and backdrops) available on its website so graduates, their family members and friends can create their own special memories. 

In addition, the University is launching its #UofReginaGrads2020 social media campaign, where all community members are invited to post their congratulatory messages to this Spring’s graduates. 

06-033.jpg

Interim President and Vice-
Chancellor, Thomas Chase,
says that the absence of
formal Convocation
ceremonies in no way
diminishes the achievements
of the Spring 2020 graduates.
Photo U of R Photography

“Not being able to walk across that stage and accept my diploma is obviously disappointing and frustrating,” acknowledges graduating Faculty of Education student Martina Leader, “but I will be celebrating on a smaller scale with my family, and I will certainly participate in the University’s online yearbook so I can share this day with my classmates.” 

Braden Massé, an Electronic Systems Engineering graduate, plans on celebrating this special time with his family, adding, "While not having a traditional convocation is unfortunate, my graduation remains a great moment of celebration with the University providing means to enjoy my accomplishment and reflect on my journey alongside my fellow graduates through the online yearbook." 

“While this may not be how any of us envisioned Spring Convocation in 2020, it is my sincere pleasure to welcome our new graduates to our family of more than 79,000 alumni worldwide who are bettering their communities and proudly serving as outstanding ambassadors for the University of Regina,” says Chase. 

Additional information about the University’s Spring 2020 graduating class can be found on this page.

 

 

 

social_media.png Congrats_class.jpg
Amy McFarlen, while practising physical distancing, makes use of Twitter
to celebrate her Masters degree.

Community members can use this graphic to join the celebration and make Spring Convocation 2020 even
more special!