Acadia celebrates its Class of 2020

Pandemic restrictions postpone the Convocation ceremony, but not graduation congratulations.

Acadia University’s Class of 2020 will officially graduate this May; however, the Convocation ceremonies and related activities scheduled from May 8-11 were postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic. That won’t stop the Acadia community from celebrating the accomplishments of 845 graduates in the faculties of Arts, Pure and Applied Science, and Professional Studies.

The Grad List is posted on the Registrar’s website, and numerous messages of congratulations and individual family gatherings will celebrate students online and at home. Parchments (degrees and certifications) will be sent to grads in the mail after May 15, 2020.

“We wish we didn’t have to postpone Convocation,” says Dr. Peter Ricketts, Acadia’s President and Vice-Chancellor. “It is a ceremony our students have been anticipating for years, and they deserve to be celebrated for their hard work throughout their time here, and for being resilient in the face of a global health crisis.”

Determined to give the Class of 2020 an in-person send-off, Acadia opted against both a virtual Convocation and an outright cancellation. The date for the in-person celebration will be determined by the course of the pandemic and public health advice. There are considerations in place for fall 2020, or May 2021.

In the meantime, Dr. Ricketts is one of many members of the Acadia community who are sending video greetings and special mailings to this year’s graduating class.

“As our graduates take on the challenges of tomorrow, we want them to know that their time at Acadia has prepared them for what lies ahead,” Dr. Ricketts says.

His message to them? “You will lead us to a better future, and your experiences as the Class of 2020 will forever bind you together in a way that perhaps no other class has experienced since the Class of 1917, which had their celebration disrupted during the First World War.”

Members across campus helped create a series of video montages of congratulations, fond memories, and life advice, which will be shared on Acadia’s social media channels starting Friday evening. Additional video messages from the Grad Class executive and community members will be released throughout what would have been Convocation weekend.

UPDATED: May 15, 2020 - View some of the many videos shared online this week!

Many other Acadia faculties and departments got creative to celebrate their students’ accomplishments.

Acadia’s Community Development faculty and graduating students gathered on Zoom.

A tweet showing graduates on a group video chat. Tweet reads

The Acadia School of Music faculty teamed up to produce an at-home rendition of the Alma Mater Song for their graduating students. The song is traditionally sung at each Convocation ceremony.

The Biology Department shared their best wishes to their graduating students.

The Psychology Department had fun during their self-isolation moments of boredom to create a comical look at the situation and wish their honours students well.

And the Manning School of Business faculty shared some great memories and advice in their video.

Before departing campus and Wolfville in March, some seniors also took a moment to capture photos.

And, the Manning Chapel Choir shared an uplifting rendition of “I Love You/It’s a Wonderful World” to lift the spirits of the entire Acadia community when we found ourselves separated.

“The Acadia University community is so strongly connected that this global crisis has brought us closer together in many ways. I am so proud of the entire community, for stepping up, caring for each other, and supporting our students,” says Dr. Ricketts.

“On behalf of Acadia University, I am pleased to congratulate our Class of 2020. Don’t look at this time in your life as leaving Acadia, but joining our Alumni family for life. I look forward to celebrating Convocation in person with you at a later date.”

Updates on future Convocation planning will be posted on the Convocation and Registrar’s websites.

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