With the more easing protocols and good weather, the faculty, staff, and graduates of Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) were more than ready to celebrate its Spring 2022 convocation ceremonies. This was held in person in Halifax, Nova Scotia on May 19 and 20.
MSVU honored the success of more than 700 graduates from 25 countries. Students crossed the stage from arts, science, education, and professional programs to accept a range of certificates, diplomas and degrees before becoming part of MSVU’s network of more than 36,000 alumni worldwide.
The first day of the ceremony featured the legacy of the late Dr. Alexa McDonough, a trailblazing social worker, reporter, teacher and politician. She was interim MSVU President from 2009-2010 and also an honorary degree recipient. Megan Leslie, CEO of World Wildlife Fund Canada, former NDP Member of Parliament, and MSVU honorary doctorate, shared her reflections on Alexa.
Abbie Jean McDonough, her eldest granddaughter, also shared and spoke of an important lesson from her grandmother: “Through empathy, my grandmother was able to recognize her privilege and uplift and amplify the voices of people belonging to communities that were historically not given a seat at the table.”
During the ceremony, MSVU bestowed honorary degrees on three exceptional women. One of them is Retired Judge Corrine Sparks. She is a proud graduate of MSVU and the first African Nova Scotian to be appointed to the Bench and the first African Canadian female to serve on the judiciary in Canada. Another is Dr. Marie Battiste who is a renowned scholar and advisor on decolonizing education and protecting Indigenous knowledges. During her speech, she focused on the teachings she gained from a Mi’kmaq Elder and her family that helped her on her learning journey. Deanne Fitzpatrick is also a recipient of the honorary degree who is a textile artist whose celebrated hooked rugs have been exhibited through public galleries and private collections. She shared that self-expression and looking at the world in new ways is not just important in art. It’s vital in math, science, business and all of life.
The ceremony also honored its first graduates from the MountAbility program: Will Brewer and Tamara Byard, both of Halifax, NS. The program is a pathway to university studies for students who self-identify as having a disability that might otherwise have been a barrier to university studies.
Learn more about the other awardees and prize recipients at https://www.msvu.ca/msvu-spring-convocation-celebrates-students-faculty-and-honorary-degree-recipients/
Reference and photo credits to: https://www.msvu.ca/