Queen’s celebrates classes of 2020, 2021, & 2022

Convocation hosts 10 graduation ceremonies

Months of detailed planning went into the event.
Credit: 
Supplied by Queen's University

After a three-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Queen’s convocation returned to celebrate the classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022.

From June 20 to 24, two graduation ceremonies were held daily at the Leon’s Centre in downtown Kingston. Convocation saw over 6,000 students graduate in the presence of roughly 10,000 guests, Suzanne Arniel, associate university registrar, told The Journal.

Students were grouped into ceremonies based on their program and graduation year. The ceremonies were also livestreamed for friends and family not in attendance.

“Graduation and convocation are the capstone of the Queen’s University experience,” Arniel wrote in a statement. “We shared our graduates’ disappointment, as 2020 and 2021 ceremonies kept getting postponed due to the pandemic.”

Convocation ceremonies were planned and delayed throughout 2020 and 2021, until the University announced that convocation would proceed in March.

“We were thrilled to confirm […] that we were proceeding with in-person celebrations,” Arniel said.

She said the ceremonies took “months of detailed planning,” involving scheduling; arranging gowns and hoods; designing and printing the parchments and programs; decorating campus in tricolour; and organizing parking, transportation, signage, audio, videos, and music.

About 100 people supported each convocation ceremony, including University staff, Leon’s Centre staff, security, First Aid, audio-visual service providers, and the AMS, Arniel said.

The AMS worked with the University to organize photo opportunities and ran a sidewalk sale during the week.

“I was also struck by the wonderful singing, drumming and Indigenous teachings presented by Rob Spade, that added to the celebration on National Indigenous Peoples Day,” Arniel added.

The University collaborated with faculties and departments across campus in the planning process, as well as with the City of Kingston who illuminated City Hall in Queen’s tricolour during convocation week.

On behalf of the University, Kingston Transit also offered free transportation from campus to the Leon’s Centre with congratulations messages adorning the buses.

“All these efforts meant a lot to the entire campus community,” Arniel wrote. “Congratulations to all our graduates!”

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