Congratulations Class of 2024! U of T prepares for spring convocation

Some 16,000 students are set to graduate during 34 ceremonies in June

The University of Toronto’s three campuses are abuzz as graduating students prepare to turn the page on a transformative period of their lives and celebrate their accomplishments at this year’s spring convocation ceremonies.

More than 13,000 graduating students will cross the stage inside Convocation Hall on the St. George campus and receive their degrees during 34 ceremonies held between June 3 and 21. They will be cheered on by their fellow graduands, families and friends.

This spring’s graduating students represent 123 countries, including Canada, and range in age from 17 to 70. In all, more than 21,500 students will graduate from U of T this year, including some 16,000 this spring.

“Many members of the Class of 2024 began their post-secondary studies during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the world was turned upside down,” said U of T President Meric Gertler. “And each of this year’s graduands persevered and succeeded despite that extraordinary challenge.

“The qualities they demonstrated will serve them well in their chosen fields and in their efforts to help build a more just and sustainable world.

“On behalf of the entire University of Toronto, I thank them for their contributions, and I congratulate them on their achievements.”

This year’s spring convocation schedule gets underway on June 3 with ceremonies for Honours Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts students from U of T Mississauga and culminates with University College’s commerce and science graduands on June 21. Each ceremony will be livestreamed at U of T’s Convocation Hub. And viewers in mainland China can watch the broadcasts on MyMedia two to three days after the original ceremony date.

Graduating students and their guests – up to two family members or friends per student – who attend one of the ceremonies at Convocation Hall will take part in a number of rich convocation traditions. They include inspirational convocation speakers; colourful hoods and flowing gowns; a bedel carrying U of T’s gold-plated mace; a 51-bell carillon ringing out from atop Soldiers’ Tower; and the chancellor’s procession led by an Eagle Feather Bearer carrying a ceremonial Eagle Feather that was first introduced to U of T’s convocation ceremonies in spring 2022

This year’s spring ceremonies will also feature the inaugural appearance of the Eagle Feather Bearer’s Stole, which, like the Eagle Feather and Eagle Feather Bearer, symbolizes the university’s deep respect for Indigenous Peoples and cultural traditions. Designed by Katie Longboat, a Mohawk and Cree artist originally from Six Nations of the Grand River, the stole is inspired by nature around campus with beadwork depicting Toronto’s waterways and U of T symbols such as the beaver.

Ten luminaries will receive honorary degrees at this year’s spring ceremonies. 

As the ceremonies draw closer, U of T staff are hard at work preparing Convocation Hall and meticulously checking students’ names against printed parchments that are placed into envelopes. Meanwhile, dozens of convocation readers – who comprise current and retired faculty as well as staff – spend hours preparing to read graduands’ names.

Come their big day, graduating students can collect their regalia at the Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship (a TCard or government-issued photo ID is required) before assembling for the procession to Convocation Hall. They will be presented on stage by degree in alphabetical order.

The recessional concludes on Galbraith Road, where new graduates can reunite with their guests.

Further information on how to best participate in the long-standing tradition of convocation at U of T can be found in an FAQ at the Convocation Hub, including a reminder that graduating students and their guests are only permitted to bring small clutch/handbags inside Convocation Hall, while all other personal effects must be placed in transparent plastic bags.

Diploma frames, Class of 2024 merchandise and other apparel and gifts can be purchased at the U of T Bookstore, which is located a short distance from Convocation Hall and will have extended hours during the convocation season.

Chancellor Rose Patten, who confers all degrees as chair of convocation, commended the members of the graduating class on their many achievements.

“I would like to congratulate each and every member of the Class of 2024 for reaching this important milestone,” said Patten, who will participate in her final U of T convocation ceremony this spring as her second term as chancellor draws to a close. “Our graduating students are a source of immense pride for the entire University of Toronto community. They embody our mission to foster intellectual excellence, creativity and compassion to help build a better world.

“We look forward to seeing what you go on to accomplish in your lives and careers to come.”

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