McGill’s valedictorians are outstanding undergraduate students whose strong academic performance, leadership and community involvement has earned the respect of their peers. This year’s cohort, while coming from vastly different backgrounds, share enthusiasm, ambition and a well-rounded philosophy of life.
As part of our Spring 2019 Convocation coverage, the Reporter is conducting a series of Q&A interviews with some of our valedictorians.
Today, we feature André Moreau who will deliver his valedictorian address on on Thursday, May 30, as part of the Faculty of Law ceremony.
What program are you graduating from?
I am graduating from the B.C.L/LL.B program at McGill’s Faculty of Law.
I was born and raised in Penetanguishene, Ontario.
Why did you choose McGill?
I was particularly drawn to the unique and bilingual transsystemic law program offered at McGill. Also, it has always been a dream of mine to live in Montreal.
What do you remember when you walked onto campus for the first time?
I was struck by how old, historical and beautiful many of the buildings were.
What are some of the highlights of your time as a McGill student?
I had the opportunity to embark on many enriching and memorable experiences throughout my time at McGill. I completed a human rights internship in Kampala, Uganda; partook in the Anishinaabe Law Camp at Neyaashiinigmiing (Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation); participated in an inter-cultural law course in Shantou University Law School in China; and wrapped up my final semester at the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary.
Three favourite places on McGill/Mac campus?
As a law student, I seldom leave the Faculty or the Nahum Gelber Law Library. However, there were two exceptions: Thomson House and – more importantly – the First Peoples’ House, which was and forever will be a home away from home for me.
What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during your time here and how did you overcome them?
The underlying challenge that I faced at McGill was overcoming self-doubt. It can be easy to feel that you don’t belong or that you’re unworthy of being there. However, with the support of my peers and professors, I was reminded that wasn’t the case.
What/who will you miss the most?
I will certainly miss my classmates. We’ll be taking different paths and it might be a long time until many of us are together again.
What is next for you?
After writing the Ontario Bar exam, I will be moving to Ottawa to begin articling at the National Judicial Institute.
Any long-term goals and plans?
Who knows what’s in store? I just hope that I continue to be happy and healthy in what I do!
Tell us about your Faculty and your classmates. What does it mean for you to be representing them as valedictorian?
Law’s Class of 2019 is such an inspiring, diverse, accomplished and ambitious cohort. Representing my classmates at convocation is an absolute honour, which I am really looking forward to!
Without giving away too much, what will be the message of your address?
Despite the difficult challenges faced over the course of our studies at McGill Law, we’ve been there for each other and certainly we’ll continue to be there for one another as we go our separate ways.
What advice do you have for new students starting at McGill this fall?
Take advantage of all the opportunities that are available to you at McGill. Get out of your comfort zone and try out new things. Make meaningful connections with your peers and professors. Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way.