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University of Lethbridge wraps up extensive convocation ceremonies

Click to play video: '‘It was an honour’: U of L graduates walk across stage for first time since 2019' ‘It was an honour’: U of L graduates walk across stage for first time since 2019
WATCH ABOVE: The University of Lethbridge hosted a total of six convocation ceremonies this spring to congratulate grads from 2020, 2021 and 2022. Eloise Therien has more on the celebration and one new alumus’ plan going forward – Jun 3, 2022

The University of Lethbridge hosted six in-person convocation ceremonies this week after two years of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions put the celebrations on hold.

The last couple of years have been marred with online learning curves and a nearly six-week long work stoppage, but students made it through.

“We brought our 2020 and 2021 grads back, which was so special to be able to honour them,” said convocation co-ordinator Miranda Mackenie.

“We’ve made that commitment to them, and we’ll continue to honour them in future ceremonies as well.”

Read more: Lethbridge College celebrates graduates at in-person convocation

Along with a large number of overall students to celebrate, the U of L is marking a record number of graduating Indigenous students, and its first inclusive education graduates.

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“We’re all just really running on the joy of students right now,” said Charles Weaselhead, the school’s chancellor.

“I think there’s been a lot of resilience and passion to succeed with all of the obstacles and challenges placed before them.”

For Colton Vanhooren, who is receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts as a multidisciplinary major, the walk across the stage was a special moment.

Click to play video: 'Grads are back' Grads are back
Grads are back – May 26, 2022

“It was overwhelming, and it was an honour,” he said.

Vanhooren was awarded $1,500 in seed funding for a software called Tonic Musicianship. He hopes to further develop the project with a degree under his belt.

“We wanted to create a piece of software for music students to learn music, but also have fun doing and getting those foundational building blocks so that they can exceed in their academic journeys as well as their careers,” he explained.

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“We’re looking to partner with some developers in Brazil, Lethbridge and Calgary to start building Tonic Musicianship right here in Alberta.”

According to the institution, a total of 1,220 students crossed the stage on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Of those, 934 are from the class of 2022, while 286 are part of the 2020 and 2021 graduating class.

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