Fall Convocation ceremonies to be held in person on Nov. 25 and 26 

Health measures will be in place for McGill’s first in-person Convocation since the pandemic began 

For the first time in two years, McGill Convocation ceremonies will be in person. The celebrations will take place at their usual Fall location, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts, on Thursday, Nov. 25 and Friday, Nov. 26. 

As the pandemic isn’t quite over yet, attendees will still have to observe a set of safety measures: 

  • Vaccine passports will be required for graduates and guests. Photo ID will also be required. Please refer to the Place des Arts COVID-19 website for more information. 
  • Masks must be worn at all times. 
  • Social distancing guidelines will be in force. 

Graduates are asked to visit the Convocation website on a regular basis for the most up-to-date information on health and safety requirements. 

For Heidi Emami, Associate Registrar, Academic Records, Exams and Convocation, the important thing is that for the first time in far too long a time, graduating students will be able to take part in a traditional ceremony where they can cross a stage and get their diplomas in the presence of their loved ones. 

“We could not be happier to return to the grand tradition of in-person convocations,” Emami says. “We greatly look forward to celebrating with this Fall’s graduates in November.” 

Recent grads will get their moment – soon 

This month’s ceremonies will include only the Fall 2021 Convocation cohort, although Emami says graduates who missed out on their opportunity to have an in-person ceremony because of COVID-19 restrictions will soon get their moment in the sun. 

“For our past cohorts who celebrated virtually over the course of the pandemic, we are actively planning the in-person celebrations they so richly deserve, the first of which will take place this Spring 2022,” Emami says. “Invitations to Spring 2020, Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 graduates will be sent in the coming months. 

Four ceremonies in two days 

The first ceremony takes place at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 25, with graduates from the Faculties of Dentistry, Science, and Medicine and Health Sciences taking centre stage. At 3 p.m. that afternoon, it will be the turn of those from Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Engineering and Management.  

On Friday, Nov. 26 at 10 a.m., Arts and Law graduates will have their ceremonies, followed at 3 p.m. by those in Continuing Studies, Education and Music. 

As is Fall Convocation tradition, Principal Suzanne Fortier will present the Principal’s Prizes for Excellence in Teaching and the Principal’s Awards for Administrative and Support Staff. Additionally, Chancellor John McCall MacBain will confer honorary degrees. 

Each ceremony lasts approximately two hours. Students should arrive an hour and a half prior to the beginning of each ceremony. Their family and friends should arrive one hour prior to the beginning of each ceremony to facilitate seating, as well as validation of vaccine status. 

Bringing back a proud tradition 

Thousands of McGill graduates participated in virtual convocations in 2020 and in Summer 2021, with thousands more well-wishers tuning in from around the world. Emami praised those grads for the “remarkable resilience” they showed during the pandemic.  

“Convocation is an incredibly important part of the University – and the McGill – experience,” Emami says, “and while we worked diligently to provide students with the best possible virtual ceremony given the circumstances, nothing can compare to crossing the stage to collect your degree, and to celebrating with your fellow students and loved ones by your side.  

“We greatly look forward to bringing back this proud tradition, and to honouring our graduates – both current and recent past – in-person once again.” 

Grads can share their Convocation moments with the rest of the McGill community, family and friends by using #McGillGrad and tagging @McGillU on social posts. https://reporter.mcgill.ca/convocation/