She’s usually working behind the scenes to help ensure Convocation goes off without a hitch, but Thursday, Diana Panter had her moment in the spotlight.
Brock’s Assistant to the Registrar, who also works as ceremony co-ordinator during Convocation season, formally welcomed the crowd to the Goodman School of Business celebration before jetting off stage to the gowning room, where she transformed from event emcee to proud graduate.
After grabbing her Master’s of Business Administration hood, and with her family cheering her on from the audience, Panter snuck into her place in line with her fellow graduands before crossing the stage with a big smile.
This is the third degree for Panter, who earned an undergraduate degree in 2011 and her first master’s degree in 2013.
When she initially informed her family about her third convocation, she played it off as “no big deal.”
“But as soon as you get on the stage, there’s just that feeling of elation,” she said. “It feels so amazing to recognize the accomplishment. You don’t realize how important it is until you’re in the moment.”
Panter has been helping with Convocation at Brock for the past eight years, working behind the scenes to assist with gowns, the printing of degrees and ensuring everything is in order for the ceremonies.
In addition to emceeing the events this week, Panter has been handing out degrees as graduates finish their walk across the stage.
“They had to find somebody else to do that today so I could get my diploma,” she said with a laugh Thursday. “I’ll be back at it for the afternoon ceremony.”
Panter admitted her nerves were a little heightened knowing she was “doing double duty” at the morning event, but seeing her family in attendance had a relaxing effect.
“My family has been incredibly supportive of me,” she said. “I don’t think I would have any of my degrees without their support. They’ve played a huge role in my life.”
While she’s not immediately planning a return to the classroom, Panter said she’s a strong believer that there “is no limit to your personal development.”
“I’ll always be learning something, I just haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to pursue another degree at this moment.”