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Momentous event

In pictures: Dr. Vianne Timmons installed as president and vice-chancellor

Campus and Community

By Memorial University

Capping off a celebratory week of spring convocation ceremonies was a very special moment: the installation of Dr. Vianne Timmons as president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University.

It was a moment two years in the making.

Dr. Timmons arrived at Memorial in the spring of 2020, coinciding with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since the lifting of Public Health restrictions, in-person ceremonies could finally be held once more.

The university made the most of it.

On Friday, June 3, during the afternoon and final session of spring convocation, Chancellor Susan Dyer Knight officially installed Dr. Timmons as the first woman president and vice-chancellor of Newfoundland and Labrador’s only university.

Follow along with the special moments throughout the ceremony in the photo essay below.

1/ Fanfare to begin

To begin, trumpeters Alan Klaus, Luis Humberto De La Paz Cruz and Terry Campbell played the piece Fanfare for President Timmons, which was composed especially for the occasion by Robert Humber, from the balcony of the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre.

Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

2/ Provincial representative

Tom Osborne, minister of Education, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, delivered the Instrument of Appointment.

Photo: Ryan Card

3/ Board representation

Cathy Duke, acting chair of Memorial's Board of Regents, presented Dr. Timmons to the assembled graduates, families and guests.

Photo: Ryan Card

4/ Installation of the president and vice-chancellor

Chancellor Susan Dyer Knight, Memorial's first woman chancellor, addressed Dr. Timmons to officially install her as Memorial University's first woman president and vice-chancellor.

Photo: Rich Blenkinsopp

5/ Significance of the robes

To signify the transition, Dr. Timmons wore her alma mater's University of Calgary academic robes to begin the ceremony and prepared to change to robes worn by the president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University. Dr. Timmons completed her doctoral degree at the University of Calgary.

Photo: Ryan Card

6/ Official moment

Several Memorial woman deans took part in the changing of Dr. Timmons' robes.

Photo: Ryan Card

7/ Black and gold

The academic robe worn by Memorial University's presidents is based on the University of Oxford's style: black and gold brocade, which dates to medieval times.

Photo: Ryan Card

8/ Musical inspiration

Eastern Owl, an Indigenous-led, all nations group of women who blend the styles of First Nations drum music and contemporary folk to create their own innovative sound, performed next. The group is based primarily out of St. John’s; the women of Eastern Owl hail from all across Ktaqamkuk (the island of Newfoundland).

Photo: Ryan Card

9/ Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador

Dr. Andrew Furey brought greetings to the assembled guests.

Photo: Ryan Card

10/ Addressing students

After acknowledging her most treasured supporters and family, President Timmons spoke to the graduates who were receiving bachelor's and master's degrees in education. She thanked them for taking on "one of the most difficult – and most rewarding – of professions."

Photo: Ryan Card

11/ Chills and goosebumps

The powerful voices of the Black Heritage Newfoundland Choir made an enormous impression on everyone who witnessed the performance. One person shared on Twitter that they were "absolutely blown away" by the music.

Photo: Ryan Card

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