Celebrating the Graduating Class of 2024

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Celebrating the Graduating Class of 2024

Throughout this year’s spring convocation season, Ontario university campuses were filled with celebration and excitement as students received their degrees. The ceremonies, marked by years of hard work, featured heartfelt speeches, proud families and friends, as well as joyous students celebrating their achievements. Most ceremonies this year were held in-person with live stream options for those who couldn’t attend.

Below is a snapshot of some of the special moments that took place across the province to honour and recognize Ontario’s 2024 university graduates.

Algoma University celebrated their largest convocation to date on the Sault Ste. Marie campus. Two of the highlights included the Bear Creek Singers welcoming guests with a traditional Ojibwe welcome song, as well as the 49th Field Regiment Pipers leading graduates in their procession. All event photos can be found on the university’s Facebook page. 

Brock University’s 115th convocation led with a milestone moment, an Eagle Staff — a sacred symbol that represents many traditional Indigenous cultures — carried by a student. During each ceremony, the Eagle Staff was placed next to the lectern on the left side of the stage, facing east, representing connectedness to families and the world around us, new beginnings and more. The Eagle Staff will be present at Convocation going forward.

Carleton University celebrated their Spring Convocation at the Fieldhouse where this year’s ceremonies honoured more than 5,200 students as they received their degrees. In celebration, Carleton U also shared the stories of inspiring graduates whose accomplishments and contributions highlight the values of the university.

More than 3,900 degrees, diplomas and certificates were awarded to the Class of 2024 during 12 ceremonies at the University of Guelph. There were more than 15,000 family members and friends in attendance, celebrating and cheering on the summer graduates. Each ceremony was followed by tea in the Gryphon Fieldhouse, which was hosted by the Deans, for the newest alumni members, family, friends, faculty and staff. Graduates and their families also had a chance to walk along the #GuelphGrad Red Carpet and snap photos at a variety of U of G backdrops.

Lakehead University celebrated the achievements of over 700 graduates at its Orillia campus and over 1,900 graduates at its Thunder Bay campus convocation ceremonies. This year, Lakehead continued the practice of having a different student speaker at each convocation ceremony. Voices from the Class allows students to take part in the ceremony and share their Lakehead experiences with their classmates, and provide the student voice to the proceedings.

This year, Laurentian University celebrated graduates at the H. J. Fraser Auditorium. Laurentian also recognized exceptional graduates and their unique journey at the university in The Graduate Spotlight, which can be found on their convocation resource page where helpful graduate information and resources are found.

McMaster University celebrated the graduating class of 2024 at FirstOntario Concert Hall. Some of the celebrations included a Black Excellence Graduation Celebration hosted by the McMaster Black Student Success Centre to celebrate the remarkable achievements of the departing class of 2024. The Indigenous Studies Department also celebrated Indigenous Graduates who self-identify as First Nations, Métis, and/or Inuit, from all programs.

Nipissing University held ceremonies that recognized and celebrated their graduate’s hard work, dedication and contributions to the Nipissing University community. Nipissing also used the hashtag #NUConvocation and created a celebration toolkit filled with graduation themed downloads for social media, as well as lawn/window signs and virtual backgrounds to help graduates share this significant milestone with friends and family.

Over 1,000 OCAD University graduands from the Class of 2024 crossed the stage at Roy Thomson Hall during convocation. This is the largest graduating class in recent OCAD U history, with a total of 1,086 graduands from the fall, winter and spring terms. Special recognition was given to the medal winners from GradEx 109, Toronto’s largest free art and design exhibition. Additionally, Indigenous students were gifted a black stole embroidered with the OCAD U and ISC logos made by Tammy Beauvais, a Mohawk fashion designer from Kahnawake Mohawk Territory in Quebec.

Ontario Tech University celebrated six convocations, surpassing 30,000 alumni this year. One special ceremony highlight was Grandmother Kim’s Honour Song for the graduates, celebrating Mi’kmaw culture and spirituality. Ontario Tech also published a social wall which featured special highlights from the graduation ceremonies for graduates to enjoy and share online. 

This year over 10,000 University of Ottawa students received their diplomas as family and friends cheered them on. In special recognition, uOttawa showcased the stories, accomplishments and passions of some of the members of the Class of 2024 on their website. Additionally, the Faculty of Law’s ceremony began with an acapella rendition of the national anthem, performed by Ania Hejna, a 2012 uOttawa Master of Music graduate, making it a special moment for graduates.

Queen’s University welcomed members of the Spring 2024 graduation class back to Kingston to celebrate convocation. To commemorate their journey from student to alumni, the Queen’s Student Alumni Association hosted a special Summerhill Sendoff at the steps of the oldest building at Queen’s. The event included connecting with fellow graduates, reminiscing about university days, and exploring the valuable resources available to students beyond graduation.

University of Toronto held in-person graduation ceremonies at the Convocation Hall this year. One of the highlights was the introduction of the first-ever Indigenous beaded stole at the convocation ceremonies. Created by artist Katie Longboat, the stole is worn by the Eagle Feather Bearer, who leads the chancellor’s procession into Convocation Hall, and symbolizes the university’s enduring partnership with Indigenous Peoples. 

Trent University celebrated more than 3,100 graduates – the largest graduating class in Trent’s history during 2024 convocation ceremonies across both its Peterborough and Durham Greater Toronto Area campuses. A record 2,664 undergraduates and the largest class of graduate students – 504 Ph.D., masters, and diploma graduates were celebrated over 13 ceremonies. This year’s ceremonies in Peterborough also included the first cohort of graduates from the Master of Science in Bioenvironmental Monitoring & Assessment, and Master of Science in Nursing, Professional Practice Leadership programs.

Toronto Metropolitan University’s (TMU) spring convocation ceremonies recognized the years of study and dedication of the 2024 graduating class, while celebrating this milestone achievement with family and friends. To better prepare students for their graduation, TMU shared a graduate checklist with helpful information to know before, during and after the special day. Additionally, TMU’s Black Excellence Committee hosted the fifth annual Black Excellence Graduation Celebration to celebrate this year’s Black graduating students with live music and food.

For five consecutive days, across 14 ceremonies, the University of Waterloo’s campus was filled with graduates. More than 7,380 bachelor’s degrees, 350 doctoral degrees and 2,130 master’s degrees were awarded this year. In fact, this year the university ushered its 250,000th graduate across the stage. Many special traditions were also a part of the ceremonies, including an Eagle Staff, the university mace, the university arms and motto, as well as the academic regalia.

This year, Wilfrid Laurier University hosted their spring 2024 convocation ceremonies in Brantford and Waterloo, celebrating the accomplishments of approximately 3,539 graduating students. Indigenous graduates were given a unique ceremonial stole with symbolic meaning. One side of the stole depicts the Dish with One Spoon Treaty Wampum Belt between the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabe and on the other side of the stole is the Office of Indigenous Initiatives logo.

Western University celebrated their spring graduation with more than 8,560 graduates. The ceremonies spanned 12 faculties and multiple generations, with graduates ranging in age from 20 to 77 years-old. The Class of 2024 joins more than 362,000 Western alumni in almost 160 countries around the world. To celebrate their achievements, Western has published inspiring graduate stories highlighting the students’ accomplishments and their future plans after graduation.

University of Windsor held their graduation ceremonies at the Toldo Lancer Centre, the university’s sportsplex, which opened in the summer of 2022. WindsorU’s convocations also included special traditions such as the university mace, which represents continuity and stability in an ever-changing world, and Smudging, which involves the burning of traditional medicines such as sweet grass, cedar and sage during Indigenous events to create a positive mindset for those involved in the activities.

As York University celebrated the outstanding academic and personal achievements of the graduating class of 2024, they also recognized the first cohort of neuroscience graduates from the Faculty of Science. To help graduates prepare to cross the stage, YorkU has a dedicated webpage for easy access to relevant information, quick links, features, social media assets, a live social feed and the opportunity to join a network of YorkU alumni. Some of the convocation celebrations also included the Black Grad Celebration hosted by York’s Black Alumni Network and the Rainbow Grad Celebration hosted by York’s Sexuality & Gender Advocacy Alumni Network

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