Brock University students and their families will once again be able to celebrate Convocation from the comfort and safety of their own homes around the world.
With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing, Brock’s 108th Convocation will be held virtually, launching on Friday, Oct. 16.
Similar to Spring Convocation, the Class of 2020 will be celebrated in an online format in order to follow public health restrictions around large, in-person gatherings. President Gervan Fearon said the University will invite 2020 graduates back to campus for an in-person celebration at a future date.
Fall Convocation is always a single-day affair, with around 1,000 Brock students from across all seven Faculties marking the conclusion of an important chapter in their lives.
Rather than a live event, the University has created a Convocation portal, where each graduand will get their own personalized experience based on their Faculty, and whether they’re an undergraduate or graduate student.
In addition to the conferring of degrees for students, Fall Convocation will include a couple of significant events.
First is the installation of Hilary Pearson as Brock’s ninth Chancellor in its 56-year history. Pearson, a recognized Canadian leader in philanthropy and community engagement, follows Shirley Cheechoo, who in 2015 became the first woman and first Indigenous Canadian to hold the ceremonial leadership role at Brock.
One of her first tasks as Chancellor will be conferring an honorary degree on Lieutenant-General, the Honorable Roméo Dallaire. A celebrated international advocate for human rights, Dallaire is a respected author, government and United Nations advisor, and former Canadian senator. He is also founder of the Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security.
Appointed as commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Rwanda, Dallaire was witness to the 1994 Rwandan genocide. He spoke at Brock on International Day of Persons with Disabilities in 2017.
After going live on the morning of Friday, Oct. 16, the Virtual Convocation portal will remain online for students and their families to access the site at their own convenience.
Also part of the Virtual Convocation portal is a social media ‘celebration toolkit,’ where grads can download graphics such as social media cover photos and animated confetti. Brock gives a small bag of confetti to all of its incoming students, and many wait to open the bag until Convocation Day.
Shortly after Virtual Convocation launches, all graduating students will be mailed a package that includes their degree parchment, a Convocation program, an alumni pin and other information from the Brock University Alumni Association, information on how to purchase a degree frame from the Brock Campus Store and a bag of Class of 2020 confetti. Graduands are encouraged to update their address and phone number on their Brock student portal.