The highly anticipated return to in-person convocation ceremonies is on, with Convocation Hall all set to welcome graduating students back to the stage after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s spring convocation season will feature all the cherished traditions that have distinguished U of T convocations for over a century. But there are also several new elements to look forward to, as well as important changes to some of the festivities surrounding the big day.
With that in mind, here are some key things to know about this year’s spring convocation:
Gown up for the ceremony at the Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship
(Photo by Johnny Guatto)
When it comes time to don academic regalia, the Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship will function as a central staging hub. Access will be limited to graduating students and those in the academic procession.
The Eagle Feather – a historic first
This year’s spring convocation attendees will be the first to witness an important addition to U of T’s ceremony. In recognition of the university’s enduring relationship with Indigenous Peoples, a member of the U of T Indigenous community will lead the chancellor’s procession into Convocation Hall carrying an Eagle Feather.
Get inspired by honorary degree recipients and convocation speakers
Take in words of inspiration and wisdom from U of T’s honorary degree recipients – nine in total this spring – and 23 scheduled convocation speakers. From artists and business leaders to academics and those who have championed social and other causes, these eminent individuals all represent excellence in their fields and stellar service to society.
Celebrate your achievement at Willcocks Commons
(Photo by David Lee)
After the ceremony, graduates are invited to celebrate with family and guests at Willcocks Commons (St. George and Willcocks), next to Sidney Smith Hall, rather than on Front Campus. The change is due to the Landmark Project, which includes the installation of a massive geoexchange system that will contribute to the St. George campus becoming climate-positive by 2050.
Graduates recess from the south doors of Convocation Hall. Once outside, everyone is encouraged to head over to Willcocks Commons to reunite with family, friends and faculty. There, they will find a photobooth and will be able to access washrooms and food services next to Sidney Smith Hall.
Frame your diploma at the U of T Bookstore
Get your degrees framed at the U of T Bookstore, which will offer on-the-spot framing services during the convocation ceremonies. The bookstore will also sell a variety of Class of 2022 gifts including a bear, mugs, tees, pens and other graduation memorabilia.
(Photo by Nick Iwanyshyn)
Take group shots for the family photo album and selfies for the ‘gram (#UofTGrad22) at one of these picturesque and iconic locations in and around the St. George campus.
Don’t forget your mask
In keeping with U of T’s extended mask mandate, everyone will be required to wear a face mask while inside Convocation Hall. Graduates must also wear masks while in the procession and recession, both indoors and outdoors.
Masks will not be required in outdoor gathering spaces, although U of T does recommend wearing a face mask in all outdoor settings where physical distancing can’t be maintained.