Ceremony Archives

Students represent the future at spring 2016 Convocation

Convocation Spring 2016 - Hats
1,048 students crossed the stage during the 2016 spring Convocation, transforming from Mount Royal students to Mount Royal alumni.

Their names have been called, and their pictures taken. They crossed the stage and now, their tassels have been tossed.

Ceremony Videos

Jun 2, 2016 – 10 a.m.

Faculty of Health, Community and Education (not including Bachelor of Education)

Complete Ceremony
Honorary Degree recipient Sheldon Kennedy (45:00)
Valedictorian Laura Grant (1:50)

June 3, 2016 – 2 p.m.
Bissett School of Business

Complete Ceremony
Valedictorian Amanda Schaufele (1:29:45)

June 4, 2016 – 10 a.m.
Faculty of Arts

Complete Ceremony
Honorary Degree recipient Will Ferguson (30:00)
Valedictorian Riley Valde (1:29:30)

June 4, 2016 – 2 p.m.
Faculty of Communication Studies
Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension
Bachelor of Education
Faculty of Science and Technology

Complete Ceremony
Honorary Degree recipient
Valedictorian Cassie Campbell-Pascall (23:30)
Valedictorian Kristin Milloy (1:38:10)


Beginning on the morning of Thursday, June 2 and finishing on the afternoon of Friday, June 3, Mount Royal University presented the graduating class of spring 2016 to faculty, friends and family during four memorable convocation ceremonies.

Convocation Spring 2016 - Docherty Piping 
In traditional fashion, Mount Royal President David Docherty piped each group of graduates in to the ceremonies. 

In total, 1,048 students crossed the stage, transforming from Mount Royal students to Mount Royal alumni.

Completing its 106th year of existence, Mount Royal welcomed its first contingent of Bachelor of Child Studies and Bachelor of Health and Physical Education graduates. The two programs comprised 52 of the University’s total of 1,466 spring graduates.

In February 2014, the three-year Bachelor of Applied Child Studies program transitioned into the four-year Bachelor of Child Studies degree, the first full degree in child studies to be offered in Western Canada. At the same time the Bachelor of Health and Physical Education was amalgamated from the Bachelor of Applied Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership; the Bachelor of Applied Business and Entrepreneurship – Sports and Recreation; and the Bachelor of Physical Education University Transfer.

Convocation Spring 2016 - Hoods 
Bachelor of Arts graduates wear white hoods.  

During the initial degree launch, Chad London, dean of the Faculty of Health, Community and Education, outlined how both programs exemplify the goals and objectives of the institution.

“Transitioning our existing applied degrees, diplomas and university transfer programs to baccalaureate level degrees supports Mount Royal’s vision of becoming Canada’s premier undergraduate university,” said London.

Now, two years later, the first graduates have hit the Convocation stage.“Being able to complete full degrees in these fields at Mount Royal is something students told us was important to them,” says London.

“Now, we’ve proudly and confidently sent our first cohorts of these new programs out into the community to make their marks as professionals in their respective fields.”

For Grace Dafoe, convocation marks the first step in her journey as a physical literacy profession.

“Being a part of the first BHPE – Physical Literacy graduating class is monumental,” says Grace Dafoe, one of the debut grads.

“Canada is consistently showing an interest in physical literacy and wellness, and we are leading the movement to make our country healthier.

“When I started in the Physical Education University Transfer program in 2011, I had no idea it would lead me here to this day, where my journey is really just beginning. I am grateful that Mount Royal has been a part of my physical literacy voyage.”

Convocation Spring 2016 - Hoods 
Graduates look forward to making their mark.  

Dominique von Getz is also excited to begin her career and put her Bachelor of Child Studies degree to work.“As one of the first students to graduate with a Child Studies degree at Mount Royal University I believe I will be able to bring to the community a strong set of interdisciplinary skills, which will allow me to work with a range of professionals to meet the needs of children, youth and their families,” said von Getz.

London also spoke to the impact the new graduates will have throughout the communities of Alberta.

“The launch of these degrees increased access to university-level education in Alberta, and increases the number of trained and educated child and youth care specialists, as well as health and physical education specialists, all of whom in their own way contribute to the health and wellness of our communities.”

President David Docherty welcomed Mount Royal’s second largest cohort of graduates in a century-plus of academic history. Just shy of three-quarters of the 1,466 graduating students returned to campus to celebrate their accomplishments. For only the second time, the University held four ceremonies over two days to honour its newest alumni.
“Today, crossing the stage will be our first graduating class with a Bachelor’s in Child Studies and the first class with a Bachelor’s in Health and Physical Education,” said David Docherty, PhD and President of Mount Royal University.

“Congratulations and we look forward to you going into the community as strong advocates for children and youth, as well as health and physical education.

“Four years ago at orientation, I spoke to many of you and told you, 'Don’t be afraid to take risks.' This leads me to my one piece of advice today: embrace change,” Docherty, told the crowd. “As a matter of fact, if we (both faculty and staff) did our job well, you’ll be more confident running toward change, not running away from it.

“The vision of our new Strategic Plan is to provide students with an exceptional undergraduate experience. A big part of this is preparing you for the future – helping you grow from within and giving you the skills to embrace change.

"With proud hearts, we send our best out in to the world.”

Our social media Storify encapsulates the events of the two days of ceremonies.

Indigenous student ceremonyThe Iniskim Centre continues the spring celebration Saturday, June 4 with a special ceremony honouring Mount Royal’s indigenous students. In total, 30 students are expected to attend. Four flags will represent the communities involved: a Treaty 7 confederation flag, a MRU flag, an Inuit flag and a Métis flag. During the ceremony students will be gifted depending on their heritage. Métis students will receive a sash from representatives from the Métis nation of Alberta, and Inuit and self-declared indigenous students will be presented with an eagle feather. Both of these offerings are considered the highest accolade one can receive. Both the sash and feather will be blessed with a prayer by an elder before Saturday’s ceremony.

Honorary Degree recipientsHonorary degree are granted to recognize a wide range of professional and personal accomplishments and contributions to society. On June 2, Sheldon Kennedy joined the first cohort of graduating students obtaining Bachelor of Child Studies degrees. The former Memorial Cup and World Junior gold medalist in hockey collected an honorary parchment for his exceptional history of community service and commitment to the University.

Joining Kennedy, Canadian Olympic hero Cassie Campbell-Pascall and acclaimed Canadian author Will Feguson were also presented Honorary Degrees. Campbell-Pascall was awarded a Bachelor of Communication (Broadcast Media Studies) degree while Ferguson obtained an Honorary Bachelor of Arts degree (English).

Read more about Mount Royal’s 2016 spring Convocation Honorary Degree recipients.

  • Laura Grant — Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology (honours) with a minor in Philosophy
  • Kristin Milloy — Bachelor of Science, with a double major in Health Science and Cellular Molecular Biology, and a minor in Chemistry
  • Amanda Schaufele — Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing Co-op. Ed. and a minor in Psychology
  • Riley Valde — Bachelor of Arts in Psychology

Read more about Mount Royal’s exceptional spring Convocation valedictorians.

Convocation Spring 2016 - Karyn Jackson 
Social Work Diploma student Karyn Jackson received the 2016 Bronze Medal. 

Spring Convocation 2016 Professors Emeriti

  • Professor Emeritus — Gerry Cross, PhD
  • Professor Emerita — Jane Drover, PhD
  • Dean Emeritus — Manuel Mertin, PhD
  • Professor Emeritus — Peter Morton, PhD

Read more about Mount Royal’s spring Convocation 2015 professors emeriti.Governor General’s Award winnersOn behalf of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, Mount Royal University was pleased to congratulate two students for their outstanding academic achievements.

Christopher Shalom was presented with the 2016 Silver Medal after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts — English (honours). Shalom earned the highest GPA of all graduates of degree programs for 2016 with a GPA of 4.00.

Social Work Diploma student Karyn Jackson received the 2016 Bronze Medal. Jackson earned the highest GPA of all graduates of Mount Royal diploma programs for 2015 with a GPA of 4.00.

The Governor General’s Medal, established in 1873, is one of the most prestigious awards that can be earned by a student in a Canadian educational institution for exceptional academic achievement.
Convocation Spring 2016 - Crowd

June 4, 2016 — Jonathan Anderson