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Together again

Changes to Corner Brook convocation bring graduates together

Campus and Community

By Nora Daly

Convocation in Corner Brook is bringing graduating Memorial University students under one roof at one time to receive their degrees. At the request of Grenfell Campus, beginning May 2019, spring convocation in Corner Brook will take place in the Civic Centre in one session. In recent years, due to the size of the previous venue, spring convocation had been held in three sessions.

“This single session will boost awareness, enthusiasm and participation for this special day as a celebration for the graduates, their families and the community,” said Dr. Jeff Keshen, vice-president (Grenfell Campus).

In addition, fall convocation in Corner Brook will be discontinued and any graduates who complete their programs during spring semester or summer session will be able to choose to attend fall convocation in St. John’s or the following spring convocation in Corner Brook.

Convocation logistics

“The fall convocation sessions have typically been small, in the order of 50-60 graduates,” said Laura Edwards, director of Marketing, Communications and Advancement at Grenfell Campus, whose office handles many of the logistical arrangements for convocations in Corner Brook. “And with recent changes to some programs here there will be even fewer students eligible for graduation in the fall semester. These numbers made it logistically and financially impractical to hold fall convocation session in Corner Brook. Most of our growing undergraduate and graduate programs conclude in the winter semester (April) making the spring convocation more desirable for most students.”

Prior to 2014, spring convocation had been held in one session in the Civic Centre in the space then known as the Pepsi Studio. Following the downsizing of the studio, spring convocation was moved to the Corner Brook Arts & Culture Centre. While that venue provided a positive experience for graduates and their families, some limitations included accessibility, small pre-event gathering spaces and auditorium seating for just 380, effectively minimizing the number of graduates and guests per session and necessitating three ceremonies. Consequently some faculty and students had expressed disappointment that, due to venue size and resulting scheduling, some students who studied together were unable to graduate together.

Suitable ceremonial space

Support for the proposed changes was acquired at the Grenfell Campus Council meeting in December when a large majority voted in favour. The proposal then moved to the Senate Committee on Honorary Degrees and Ceremonial which approved the changes at its February meeting.

“Now back at the Civic Centre this year, spring convocation in Corner Brook will take place in the arena and the resources that previously supported fall convocation in Corner Brook will be used to transform it into a suitable ceremonial space for an annual convocation for Memorial University graduates,” said Victoria Collins, executive director of Marketing & Communications, the university unit responsible for convocation ceremonies.

Memorial’s spring convocation in Corner Brook will be take place on Thursday, May 16, at 10 a.m. For more information and the degrees to be conferred, please visit https://www.mun.ca/convocation/cornerbrook/schedule.php


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