Excitement in the air: U of T gears up to celebrate graduating students at fall convocation
As fall convocation approaches, the University of Toronto’s three campuses are alive with vibrant autumn colours – a stunning backdrop for graduating students as they celebrate a key milestone in their lives.
More than 5,500 students from across Canada and 70 countries around the world will graduate from U of T between Nov. 6 and 9. Nearly 4,000 of them will cross the stage at Convocation Hall during the 10 scheduled ceremonies.
In total, more than 21,000 students will have graduated from U of T’s three campuses by the end of 2023.
President Meric Gertler said he is looking forward to celebrating the remarkable achievements of all those who are poised to receive their degrees next month.
“I’m delighted to extend my heartfelt congratulations to each and every member of the Class of 2023 who will be graduating this fall,” he said. “Your energy and perseverance – as well as your commitment to academic excellence – are an inspiration to the entire University of Toronto community.
“These qualities will serve you well as you take your next steps in your chosen fields.”
Fall convocation kicks off with the Faculty of Arts & Science on Nov. 6 and wraps up on Nov. 9 (see the full schedule here). Students at U of T Mississauga, who will receive their undergraduate and graduate degrees on Nov. 7, will be joined by honorary degree recipient Helen Clark, former prime minister of New Zealand.
The ceremonies, which will be livestreamed on U of T’s Convocation Hub, will feature numerous traditions, some dating back more than a century.
Each ceremony begins with the chancellor’s procession – which includes the Eagle Feather Bearer, Chancellor Rose Patten, President Gertler and a bedel carrying U of T’s gold-plated mace – and will see graduating students presented on stage one-by-one in alphabetical order. Other longstanding traditions include organ music, convocation speakers, and the playing of the 51-bell carillon atop Soldiers’ Tower after each ceremony.
Relatively recent additions to the ceremonies include gonfalons – long banners representing the university’s campuses, colleges and faculties – and the Eagle Feather Bearer who leads the chancellor’s procession into Convocation Hall. A sign of the university’s profound respect for Indigenous communities and cultures, the Eagle Feather and Eagle Feather Bearer were incorporated into U of T convocation ceremonies in the spring of 2022.
The Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be the main pre-ceremony hub, with students collecting their gown and hood from the lobby of the building, while designated gathering spaces for graduates and their guests will be located on King's College Circle.
Diploma and portrait framing services will be available at the U of T Bookstore.
An alternate viewing area where people can gather to watch the livestreams will be set up in the Sandford Fleming building.
Chancellor Patten, who is chair of convocation and confers all degrees, said she’s excited for the soon-to-be graduates to embark on their next chapter of life.
“I encourage you to carry with you the knowledge, skills and values you have gained and developed during your time at the University of Toronto,” she said.
“You will soon join a diverse and global community of U of T alumni who are making a positive impact on the world in every field and walk of life. We look forward to seeing your own achievements and contributions to society in the years to come.”