During a normal Spring Convocation, it would take three days for half of Brock University’s graduating students to cross the stage and have their degrees conferred.
But on the first day that Brock’s Virtual Spring Convocation portal opened Friday, June 19, it took just over three hours.
Thousands of students accepted their Convocation experience invitation sent to them Friday morning from the Dean of their respective Faculty and visited their personalized portal.
They logged in from nearly every province and territory across the country and 41 countries around the world.
It certainly wasn’t the traditional Convocation experience, with family and friends gathered in Ian Beddis Gymnasium to witness the pomp and circumstance of Convocation, but amid the restrictions of COVID-19, the Virtual experience is meant to celebrate students until an in-person gathering can be held in the future. Rather than a single-day event, the Virtual Convocation portal will remain online for students and their families to access and watch whenever they choose.
It’s personalized based on their Faculty and if they’re graduating with an undergrad or graduate degree, and includes fun animated elements such as the ‘Throw virtual confetti’ button, a nod to Brock’s tradition of graduating students throwing the bag of confetti first given to them when they were admitted to the University.
“Today’s Convocation represents your success,” Brock President Gervan Fearon said in his address to students. “As you move through your career and your life, you’ll always know that your Brock University experience and the strengths you have developed here, makes it possible to achieve your dreams and aspirations, even in the face of unanticipated developments.”
“The Class of 2020, wherever you go, whatever you do in the future, you are always part of the Brock family,” Fearon said. “I have been honoured to meet many of you, and I look forward to seeing and meeting you in the future, but now as alumni of Brock University.”
Delivering the Convocation keynote address was former Prime Minister the Right Honorable Paul Martin, one of five Honorary Doctorate recipients recognized by the University Friday.
In addition to his remarks, which can be found here, students and their families were invited to watch remarks from political and academic leaders, student colleagues, the other honorary degree recipients, and importantly, Chancellor Shirley Cheechoo, whose role includes the official conferring of the degrees for the nearly 3,000 graduating students.
Note: While Brock’s Virtual Spring Convocation portal opened to students and their friends and family on Friday, the wider community will have access to it starting Monday, and it will remain online for everyone to experience at their own leisure.