In an unusual year shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Toronto is gearing up for its second-ever virtual convocation to celebrate graduating students as they move on to the next chapter of their lives.
As was the case in June, the fall convocation event on Nov. 21 will take viewers inside Convocation Hall for a virtual ceremony that incorporates many of the university’s cherished traditions. They include formal regalia and a procession led by the bedel carrying U of T’s gold-plated silver mace, a symbol of the university’s history and authority.
The Class of 2020 will be addressed by U of T President Meric Gertler, Chancellor Rose Patten and U of T Scarborough Professor Maydianne Andrade, the convocation speaker. There will also be congratulatory messages delivered by students and senior leaders representing faculties and divisions across the university.
“You’ve been a source of inspiration to all of us during these challenging times and I’m delighted to celebrate your remarkable achievements – even if the current circumstances mean we can’t be together in person,” President Gertler said.
“At every step, you have shown great resilience and strength of character – traits that will serve you well as you prepare for what comes next and help build a better future for all of us.”
More than 5,200 graduating students from more than 59 countries will receive their U of T degrees in absentia this fall. The virtual event will be available for public viewing at U of T’s Convocation Hub at 12 p.m. EST on Nov. 21, a Saturday. It will remain available for several months for those who are unable to view it on the day.
By Geoffrey Vandeville