Volume 97, Issue 3
Thursday, June 5, 2003

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Parents flood campus; watch progeny graduate

By Laura Katsirdakis
Gazette Staff

Robed graduates and their proud families can be seen strolling around Western's campus this week, taking one last picture to remember the completion of their university career at Western's 280th convocation ceremonies.

With eight ceremonies held throughout the week, degrees are presented to students according to faculty. Awards and honourary degrees are also bestowed upon a deserving few at each of the ceremonies.

At Tuesday morning's ceremony, Alumni Hall was packed with graduates from the faculties of arts, information and media studies, graduate studies and the Don Wright faculty of music receiving their degrees and diplomas.

"Your learning days are far from over – learning is a lifelong process," said Western's Chancellor Eleanor Clitheroe, who presided over the granting of degrees.

Paul Davenport, Western's president, welcomed the graduates into the outstanding academic tradition of the university. "Wherever you go, you carry the good name of the University of Western Ontario," he said.

An honourary doctor of letters degree was awarded to Canada's poet laureate George Bowering. "[Bowering] has had a broad influence on Canadian literature and culture," Davenport said.

"I hope this is not the end of youth and the beginning of a job," Bowering told the graduates, referring to their convocation. He recalled his own university career at Western, noting he never finished his Ph.D.

"If they've already written a thesis on you, you're [no longer] allowed to write a thesis," Bowering joked about his unfinished degree.

"This has been an amazing experience. I've been looking forward to this day for four years," said Kimberly Wozniak, who received a bachelor of arts in media, information and technoculture.

According to Danielle Marie Kelly, who also received a BA in MIT, the convocation ceremony was amazing, yet at the same time she found it anti-climactic.

Andreas Borrel, a graduate in film studies agreed with this sentiment. He wondered why traditional graduation caps were rented out, yet were not allowed to be worn during the ceremony.

When asked what their plans were for the future, most graduates said they intended to continue on with their education.

"I'm thinking of doing my [Masters degree] at Queens [University]," said Anne Van Leeuwen, who received a BA in combined philosophy and political science, as well as receiving a gold medal.

"We're going to Australia for teachers' college," said Marie Bourne of herself and Shauna Smith, both graduates with a BA in English.

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2002 THE GAZETTE