I came into my office on the first day of work to find a letter inviting me to attend the 2013 Spring Convocations. I was surprised because I don't sit on the Board of Governors or the Senate - the President and VP External are ex officio members, respectively. I signed up to join the Ceremonial Procession for two convocations after confirming that I was indeed invited.
Fast forward a month and it's the day for the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry's convocation. It was an interesting and humbling experience joining the Ceremonial Procession. The humbling part was being surrounded by so many accomplished and successful members of the University family with their colourful regalia (AKA academic bling) while I just wore a robe because I don't have my degree yet. The interesting part was the order in which we lined up for the Ceremonial Procession because I expected to be the very last person in the line since I have no academic weight, but I got placed in the middle after the Board of Governors, Senate, high-ranking University and Faculty members, the Graduate Students' Association and before many highly-accomplished professors as a Students' Union representative. At the end fo the day, it was a neat realization that the SU has a seat at the table because we represent all undergraduate students. I enjoyed celebrating and participating in the convocation especially because I got the opportunity to congratulate my brother, Christopher Le?, as he walked the stage for completing Medical school. Congrats, brother!
Top: This is my view from the stage at the Jubilee. The ceremony was very well done with speeches from President Indira Samarasekera, Honourary Degree recipient Dr. Lincoln Chen, and Dean Douglas Miller.
Bottom-left: The Mace is carried before the Chancellor, or Vice-Chancellor, in procession and rests on its stand in full view of the assembly during Convocation. Centuries ago the Mace was a symbol of authority over life and death. Today it represents power - but the power of knowledge and the importance of the University in the community (Source: http://www.ualberta.ca/~senate/mace.html).
Bottom-right: Here I am rocking a robe sans gown. I'm more inspired to complete my degree after seeing the convocation, but I have a few more goals to complete first.