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#UofTGrad16: University of Toronto gears up for convocation

A graduating student from Class of 2015 takes a photo with U of T's chancellor, Michael Wilson (photo by Ken Jones)

More than 18,000 of the world’s newest great minds are set to graduate from the University of Toronto, Canada’s top internationally-ranked university, this year – 13,500 alone during spring convocation, running May 31 to June 16

Among those expected to cross the stage at Convocation Hall are: three Rhodes scholars, dental surgeons, architects, musicians and opera singers, pharmacists, philosophers, medical doctors, lawyers and engineers.

They will be joined by 10 honorary degree recipients representing the best in their fields, including: Dick Pound, founding president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA); international mathematical superstar Professor Manjul Bhargava and Toronto International Film Festival CEO Piers Handling.

As they cross the stage to receive their diplomas at the historic Convocation Hall, they will be cheered on by more than 28,000 family and friends who have come to Toronto from all corners of the globe to celebrate their accomplishments.

See the full schedule of #UofTGrad16 convocation ceremonies

“The University of Toronto is incredibly proud of our newest graduates — the class of 2016! They are more than 18,000 strong from 161 countries, countless communities across Ontario and Canada. They are ready to take on the world’s biggest challenges,” said U of T president Meric Gertler.

“We’d also like to recognize and thank the communities of the GTA for embracing our graduates while providing them with a dynamic, diverse and friendly home during their studies at U of T.  You’ve helped build their experiences and shape their world view. Now, they’ll have the opportunity to build up our communities and cities around the world with what they’ve learned here.”

In total, 25 ceremonies will be held over 13 days at Convocation Hall – where all U of T convocations have taken place for more than a hundred years – for students graduating from the university’s three campuses in downtown Toronto, Scarborough and Mississauga.

The largest ceremony will be in the afternoon on June 13 when more than 610 attending students will receive their bachelor degrees in the arts and sciences.

Three ceremonies will be held on June 2 for 1,647 students from the University of Toronto Scarborough campus, followed by three ceremonies on June 6 for 1,855 students from the University of Toronto Mississauga campus.

Quick facts on U of T spring convocation 2016:

  •  3 Rhodes scholars (James Flynn of St. John’s, NL, Kaleem Hawa of Edmonton and Jessica Phillips of Hong Kong)
  •  8 parade marshals dressed in scarlet gowns to help students line up properly for ceremony
  • 10 honorary degree recipients: Dick Pound (June 2); Gerry Schwartz (June 3); Professor Robert Putnam (June 7); M.G. Venkatesh Mannar and Professor Cynthia Barnhart (June 8); Professor Manjul Bhargava (June 9); the Hon. James Bartleman (June 10); Piers Handling (June 13); Linda Schuyler (June 14); and Professor David Schindler (June 16)
  • 12 weeks spent preparing the 13,500 parchments (diplomas) for the Class of 2016, from labelling and stuffing envelope to triple-checking that names and degrees are correct
  • 12 weeks since anyone was allowed to walk across the Convocation Plaza lawn, which is being readied for its time in the spotlight
  • 25 individual ceremonies held over 13 days
  • 59+ age range between oldest graduate (79) and youngest graduates (20) at spring convocation
  • 40 trained volunteer readers reading out the names of more than 10,500 attending graduates
  • 75+  different types of hoods symbolizing different degrees worn by graduates and academic officials
  • 340 doctoral degrees awarded at spring convocation
  • 1,086 professional degrees such as pharmacists, medical doctors and lawyers
  • 2,539  master’s degrees awarded at spring convocation
  • 9,804 bachelor degrees awarded at spring convocation
  • 13,500 expected graduates, with more than 10,500 in attendance
  • 14,000+ rental academic gowns worn by students, faculty and staff
  • 28,385 guest tickets
  •  500,000-plus U of T alumni worldwide

Fall convocation for the Class of 2016 will be held November 7 - 11, 2016.