Convocation Wednesday, June 12, 2019, 9:30 a.m.

By | September 1, 2019

– [Announcer] Ladies and gentlemen, please rise for the academic
procession and the Chancellor. (pompous fanfare music) (solemn processional music) – [Announcer] I declare
that the 600th Convocation of McMaster University, for the conferring of
degrees, is now in session. – Please be seated. Good morning. I’m Dr. Jeremiah Hurley, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and it’s my privilege and pleasure, on behalf of McMaster University,
to welcome all of you, graduands and guests, to
this convocation ceremony. I would like to start by
recognizing and acknowledging that we meet today on
the tradition territories of the of the Mississauga
and Haudenosaunee nations, within the lands protected by the Dish With One
Room wampum agreement. I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge some of the notable leaders joining me on stage today, our Chancellor, Dr. Suzanne Labarge, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, and today’s Master of
Ceremonies, Dr. David Farrar, Vice-President, University
Advancement, Ms. Mary Williams, Associate Vice-President,
Students and Learning, and Dean of Students,
Mr. Sean Van Koughnett, associate deans, directors, chairs, Faculty members, and honoured guests. Before we start our formal program, may I first ask everyone in the hall to switch off any electronic device that may ring or beep during the ceremony. As Dean of the Faculty, let me emphasize how proud
we are of you, our graduates, and of all your notable accomplishments. One of the most gratifying
aspects of being an educator is to witness a transformation take place as students advance in their studies, gaining the skills, and
confidence, and experience, that will serve as the
foundation for lifelong learning. And to the family of today’s graduates, we know how proud you are, excuse me, how proud you are of them, and how important your support has been as they’ve pursued their studies. Congratulations to you as well. McMaster prides itself on
being a research-intensive, student-centered university, and the Faculty of Social
Sciences takes seriously both of those aspects
and facets of McMaster’s. As a student-centered university, we have an unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation
in undergraduate education, and we strive to provide our students with the opportunities, both inside and outside the
classroom, to learn and grow, intellectually, and as engaged citizens. On the one hand we’ve striven to provide you with the concepts,
the ideas, the frameworks, and the skills you need to
understand the key challenges in Canadian society and
our global community. So many of these challenges,
the changing nature of work, displacement and migration,
political divisiveness, economic inequality, environmental
change and degradation, are root social problems, best understood through the
lens of the social sciences. But being equipped to
analyze such problems, to gain greater
understanding, is not enough. You must also be equipped
to engage with others, from your families, friends,
and local organizations, to international actors, to bring about desired change that truly advances societal wellbeing. And we hope that such engagement leads to greater insight
and understanding. And so through these learning
experiences and opportunities, and then combined with your
extracurricular activities, we hope we’ve created an
exceptional student experience, and given you the skills
and critical abilities, needed both in your professional life, and to make you the
kinds of engaged citizens that foster a vibrant society, dedicated to the wellbeing
of our communities. And so again, congratulations
to our graduates. You’re going to hear
that word a lot today, both at this ceremony, and throughout, but I hope you won’t tire of it. Rather, let it prompt you to reflect on, and be proud of yourselves, of your achievements of the
last few years, thank you. And now I would like to
call upon our Chancellor, Dr. Suzanne Labarge, to
deliver her welcoming remarks. (audience applauding) – Welcome, honoured guests, staff, faculty, families, friends, and most
importantly, graduands. This is an exciting day for all of you who are graduating today, as well as for all those
people who have supported you, and stood behind you, and in many cases have had a key role in you being here today. You’ve achieved a great deal to get here, and you should all be very
proud of your success, and looking forward to what
the future might bring. Congratulations, and enjoy the ceremony. (audience applauding) – My name is David Farrar,
and I am the Provost, and Vice-President,
Academic, of the University, and this morning I have the great pleasure of serving as your Master of Ceremony. I would now like to invite
Dean Jeremiah Hurley back to the podium to present
our honorary degree recipient. (audience applauding) – Madam Chancellor, by the authority of the
senate of McMaster University, I have the honour to
present James O’Reilly. (audience applauding) For more than four decades James O’Reilly has
specialized in aboriginal law, with a particular emphasis on
the advancement and protection of aboriginal rights,
treaty rights, land claims, and self-determination of
our aboriginal nations. Born in Montreal, he earned his law degree
from McGill University, and a graduate diploma
from Laval University. He was called to the bar in 1964, and served as president of the Junior Bar Association
of Montreal in 1972 and 1973. Mr. O’Reilly was one of
the first lawyers in Quebec to devote his career to the
defense of aboriginal peoples, and as a result he has been involved in many of the watershed cases involving the rights of aboriginal peoples at every jurisdictional level, including several cases
before the Supreme Court. He piloted Chief Robert Kanatewat versus the James Bay
Development Corporation, a case which led to the
injunction that briefly halted the construction of the James Bay Hydroelectric Project in 1973, and paved the way for the James Bay Northern Quebec agreement between the Cree Nation and
the government of Quebec. Mr. O’Reilly was a lead
lawyer for the Cree Nation during the negotiation of that agreement, which is widely recognized
as the first, quote, unquote, modern treaty in Canada. Following the repatriation
of the constitution in 1982, Mr. O’Reilly was involved
in a number of amendments designed to protect aboriginal interests within Canada’s constitutional framework. He also acted as one
of the representatives of the Mohawk Nation during
the Oka Crisis of 1990, and was appointed in 2006 as amicus curiae during the Caledonia proceedings before the Ontario Court of Appeal. A frequent media commentator, Mr. O’Reilly has also lectured
and written extensively on the development of aboriginal law, and made significant contributions to mentoring and training many lawyers who have joined him in the
ranks of Canada’s most active and most successful advocates
for the aboriginal peoples. Described as a fighter
for the first nations, a pioneer, trailblazer, and legend, by his colleagues in aboriginal law, Mr. O’Reilly has been
named an honorary chief of the Samson Cree Nation of Alberta, and awarded an honorary degree from the University of Calgary for his life’s work for and with the aboriginal peoples of Canada. In 2008 he was named Avocat emerite by the Quebec Bar. In 2011 he became a fellow
of the American Trial, excuse me, College of Trial Lawyers, and four years later, he received the Medal
of the Bar of Montreal in recognition of his
contributions to justice. Ms. Chancellor, James
O’Reilly has built his career on a mission of making Canada
a more equal and just place for aboriginal peoples and nations. As a result, his legacy
is a Canadian nation that more accurately reflects in its laws the inclusive ideals at the very heart of our Canadian identity. I ask that you recognize
his accomplishments by conferring upon him the degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. (audience applauding) – James O’Reilly, by the authority of
McMaster University Senate, I have the great pleasure to
confer upon you the degree, Doctor of Laws, honoris
causa, in McMaster University, with all the rights and privileges pertaining to that degree, congratulation. (audience cheering) Right, now to the signing over here. I would now like to invite Dr. O’Reilly to deliver the convocation address. – Thank you very much, Madam
Chancellor, President Deane, honoured guests, graduates,
family, and friends. Obviously it’s an honour for me, but through me, it’s a recognition of the importance of the quest for justice
of aboriginal peoples across this great nation of Canada, which I don’t always agree with. But in any event, I want to ask you to recognize that the honour
that you’re bestowing upon me is really an acknowledgment of the continuous quest
of aboriginal peoples to obtain justice and a
much fairer equilibrium between aboriginal societies
and the Canadian society. We have just begun. There’s much implementation which there, which still has to be accomplished. In case you’re wondering
if I’m gonna be very long, I asked one of the younger
lady lawyers in our firm. I said, “What suggestion
do you have for me “to address this convocation?” And she said, “Just tell
’em how brilliant I am.” Well, thanks a lot. And then my wife said, “It’s
not your day, it’s their day.” And I do wish in passing to pay tribute to each and every one of
you who is graduating, and to the parents and the relatives who supported you throughout all of this. I think that many of the problems
facing indigenous peoples at both the collective
and the individual levels can be much better understood through a fair analysis of history. Some of you wonder why
we go back in history, but to understand the problems facing aboriginal societies today, there’s not just one group, there are many, many
nations across the country, with different languages,
different cultures, different identities, and so, it’s a bit like dealing
with the United Nations when you’re dealing
with aboriginal peoples. One shoe does not fit all. So, the big question is, well, why do we have to go back into history? Because when you look at it, Canada was occupied by all these different aboriginal groups, some of which had rights and activities which ran into each other, some of which were common, but in almost every case there was a question of dispossession, and an attempt to in effect exterminate aboriginal peoples as distinct societies. And so, you had the Indian Act, which really was designed
back in the 19th century to make everybody so-called equal, and one would’ve thought
that in the 20th century that should not have occurred again, but it did, in a white paper in 1969. It’s not that far back. 1969, the official position
of the government of Canada was that Indian people should
not have special rights. They should be citizens like anybody else. Well, we’ve come a long way since then, and in effect the spectrum is that there’s been a a remarkable evolution from going from a position where Indian people were not
considered to have any rights. And I remember in the
70s, people asked me, sorry, the government
officials were saying, “Indian people don’t have
rights, they have privileges.” This is astounding,
but that was the policy of several governments at
that particular point in time. And it’s through the efforts mainly of the Indian peoples
themselves that they were able, with perseverance and
determination, to obtain, finally, constitutional recognition
of their rights. So, going from no recognition
of any rights whatsoever, to specific recognition of aboriginal and treaty rights in the constitution, was a major, major feat
in Canadian history, if you look at it. Social sciences have to play
a crucial role in these areas. As I mentioned before, we
are just at the beginning. There’s much implementation
that has to be done to find this true equilibrium between the rights, the
values, the cultures, of many aboriginal peoples, and
Canadian society as a whole. There has to be this accommodation. We have not finished the
business of confederation until this equilibrium has
established, in my view. Now, indigenous peoples, I use the term aboriginal
peoples, indigenous peoples, they have much to show the
world in the various fields, respecting the environment, matters such as water quality,
protection of the forests, preservation of species of wildlife, including climate change, sustainable development,
governmental organization, and the relationship between collective and individual rights. In our society sometimes,
Canadian society in general, there’s quite an emphasis
on individual rights, but often there is a collective amnesia about collective rights, because we’re all part
of different communities. And so, it is important, in my understanding, that the threat to future generations, caused by continuing our current and unsustainable ways of life, that are harmful to nature,
humans, and other beings, take into account the
fact that collectively we are part of the same universe, that every individual is important, and that indigenous
peoples cannot be wrong in emphasizing the duties
and the responsibilities towards collectivities and communities. Now, I’m from another generation, so it’s true that technological
skills are necessary to efficiently function
in various disciplines in this era of very swift
technological change. But you as social scientists
are in effect the guardians of how to solve the problems, going forward, of the world, because there is a fundamental dependence on the universe as a home, and social sciences serve to temper arrogant attempts to control nature. And I was struck by one of the quotations, in dealing with different concepts, different values of aboriginal peoples. It comes from the States,
but it was Chief Seattle, in an 1854 letter to President
Franklin Pierce of the US, written in connection with the transfer of Indian lands to the
United States government. And he said, “The president in Washington “sends word that he
wishes to buy our land.” Think of, that, “buy our land.” “But how can you buy or sell the sky? “The idea is strange to us. “If we do not own the
freshness of the air, “and the sparkle of the
water, how can you buy them? “We know the sap which
courses through the trees “as we know the blood that
courses through our veins. “We are part of the Earth,
and it is part of us. “The perfumed flowers are our sisters. “The bear, the deer, the great eagle, “these are our brothers. “The rocky crests, the dew in the meadow, “the body heat of the pony, “and man, all belong to the same family.” Interestingly, this quotation
has a lot of similarities with the Mohawk Thanksgiving Address, which talks about people, Mother Earth, the fish, the plants, and honours them all, and considers that all of these together are part of the cycles of life. Now, throughout my career I’ve been struck by the failure of Canadian
society in general, and non-aboriginal
governments in particular, to recognize and take advantage
of aboriginal expertise in remote regions of Canada. Yet, the indigenous peoples
are in a unique position to demonstrate the desired relationship between people, places, and the planet. So, may I respectfully suggest
that as social scientists you carefully consider the model which indigenous peoples represent in regard to the different
components of your work. Now, in my view it will
be in now small measure up to the social scientists to
provide the support required to enable the indigenous
peoples to obtain and carry out an efficient nation-to-nation
relationship, for the benefit not only
of aboriginal peoples, but also of Canadian society in general. Now, a few remarks to the graduates, just in case you’re impressed with some of the accomplishments, what the dean did not
state are all the failures. There are many setbacks,
no matter what you do, and you have to persevere. And really, you have to
have the agony of defeat, to savor, really, the fruits of victory. Now, I have had, as a lawyer
for aboriginal peoples, many, many setbacks. The aboriginal peoples themselves I don’t, in many cases I don’t understand how they were able to keep going. But they had patience,
they had perseverance, and those are qualities
which I think most, if not all of you have, and certainly you should’ve
demonstrated that, or you must’ve demonstrated that, by your success in acquiring the diplomas. I’m presuming you weren’t at the pubs throughout your career. So, I encourage you to remember that the road to success is often paved with defeat, but setbacks are no reason to capitulate, or to question your sound principles, and that you yourselves, each one of you, should be your harshest judge. Satisfy yourself. If you have tried, you
know, it’s easy to say, well, it’s somebody else’s fault, but if you have genuinely tried, then that is all that you
can do, besides persevering. So, life is really an opportunity, and a magnificent gift, and today you can enjoy
celebrating your achievement as a very significant milestone, and to me, as a guarantee, if you use the same
patience and persistence, that you will succeed in life. We don’t know what is going to happen. We don’t control the universe. We don’t control sometimes the career. We have to be alert to take
advantage of the opportunities. So, I wish each and everyone
of you great success, and I thank you for your attention, and I hope it wasn’t too long, bye. (audience applauding) – Thank you very much for
your comments, Dr. O’Reilly. Not only has he given you
very good advice at the end, but I also think he’s given
us a perspective of Canada that we don’t always
listen to or have heard as concisely as he’s done,
so for that I thank him. One of the privileges
of being an honorary, being Chancellor, is that
you get to help choose the honorary doctorate candidates, and you get to grant the degree. And when we select an honorary doctorate, we try and choose somebody
who has contributed either to their profession
or to their community, and it’s somebody that we
can look up to and say, you know, these were ordinary people, and yet they’ve accomplished
significant things, and Dr. O’Reilly is one of those. And you can see it both professionally, and the impact he’s had on
Canada by virtue of his work, and for that we are grateful
that he was prepared to join us as being part of the McMaster community, and we thank him very much. (audience applauding) – This next exchange is
the reason we’re all here. I will now present the
graduands to our Chancellor for admission to their degrees. Will the graduands please rise. (audience cheering) Madam Chancellor, on behalf
of McMaster University Senate, I present to you these
candidates, and those in absentia, in order that you may confer the appropriate degrees upon them, and I bear witness that they
are worthy and suitable. – Graduands, by my authority, and that of the McMaster
University Senate, I have the great pleasure to
admit those before me today, and those in absentia, to their individual degrees
at McMaster University, with all of the rights and privileges pertaining to those degrees. My sincere congratulations to you all. (audience applauding) Please be seated. – Graduates, I now ask
you to join me on stage, so that the Chancellor
and I may welcome you to the McMaster community of scholars. (tranquil piano music) – Ladies and gentlemen, so that each graduate’s name may be heard, it would be appreciated if during the presentation
of the graduands you would hold your collective applause till the end of each
degree category, thank you. Madam Chancellor, may I present to you, the following graduates of the
degree, Doctor of Philosophy. Rebecca Collins Nelson. Julie Gouweloos. Amanda Lynn Ellen Peters. Diana Singh. – [Woman] Yeah, Diana, we love you, Diana! – Congratulations.
(audience applauding) – Are we ready to go? Madam Chancellor, may I present to you, the following graduate of
the degree, Master of Arts. Adam Grearson. (audience applauding) Madam Chancellor, may I present to you, the following graduate of the
degree, Master of Social Work. Savinna Isram. (audience applauding) MyLinh Cindy Tran. (audience applauding) – [Announcer] Madam Chancellor,
may I present to you, the following graduates of the degree, Bachelor of Arts, Honours. Sarah Abdul-Aziz. (audience cheering) Aysha Akhtar. Wala Amjad Al-Soofi. Essma Alfanous. Aya Ali. Adriana Emily Alonzi. Alia AlQazzaz. Kyra Ash. Rameesha Ashfaq. Kaitlyn Marie Avery. Jessica Rose Azzopardi. Sarah Elizabeth Badali. Sana Badruddin. Larissa Latisha Bailey. Jasneet Bains. – Jasneet!
– Boom, Jasneet! – [Announcer] Keerthana Balakrishnar. Chantal Victoria Ball. Nicholas Christian Ballarin. Sarah Amber Elaine Barnes. Julia Barzetti. Serena Midori Batchelor. (audience member whistling) Ashley Elizabeth Bell. Natasha Bhasin. – Tasha!
– I love you! – [Announcer] Emma Lynn
Joanne Biancaniello. Christina Andrea Bilato. Julia Birnie. Brittany Dianne Biso. – [Man] Well done! – [Announcer] Mikayla Boccalon. Eric Borisko. Teresa Bosher. Cecily Danielle Lavictoire Boyd. Stephanie Diane Judith Brackett. Cortney Brennan. – [Man] Get ’em, girl! – [Announcer] Amy Ellen Brown. Charlotte Amy Brown. Triona Aislinn Brown. Paula-Marie Bunting. Annika Butler. Maha Moin Butt. Linda Cabral. Sabrina Campanella. Miranda Victoria Cassano. Hanine Chami. Rachel Cheung. Tiffany Lui Cheung. Amy Isabelle Cianflone. Breanna Clifford. Colleen Colwell. Josiahs Cook. Emily Cooper. Crystal Cordi. Maria Isabel Correa. Monica Teresa Costa. Nicole Creed. Amelia J. Crichton. Jessie Cruickshank. Ana Cunha. Miranda Rochelle Curry. Mary-Anne Damerchie. (woman yelling) Alexis Jane Davidson. Amanda de Jesus. Ryan Alexander de Silva. Nicholas Dimitri Deligiannis. Sharonpreet Dhillon. Victoria Louise Di Giovanni. Alexander Dias. Carine Michelle Diverlus. (audience members cheering) Madison Divinski. Shanese Donalds O’Brien. Tianna Ladina Shianne Downey. Lauren Jane Dykstra. Taylor Christian Dyment. Mariam El-Masri. Naha Fatma. Maria Louisa Ysabel Florentin. (audience members cheering) Kayleen Frey. Kristiana Eva Fridrich. – [Woman] Woo, go Kris! – [Announcer] Isabel Gallego. Rosanna Galluzzo. Luc Gambacort. – [Man] Bravo! – [Announcer] Emily Monica Game. Samantha Maria Garofalo. Melissa Geer. Geena Domenica Gentilotti. Alexis Dina Georgakopoulos. Allie Mary Gillies. Vanessa Golec. Brittany Gottvald. Emiko Elise Graham. Mackenzie Grant. Shemar Trent Hackett. Hilary Michele Roch Hanaka. Mina Hasanzada. (audience members cheering) Kaila Loretta Hawes. Leteesha Henny. (audience members cheering) Evan Michael Hill. – Go, Michael, Michael!
(audience members cheering) My boy! – [Announcer] Zachary David Evan Hillmer. (audience members cheering) Martin Hluchaniuk. Shannon Elizabeth Hoag. Olivia Howard. Emily Lauren Hutchinson. Haley Hutchinson. Lori-Lynn Huzij. Maxton Iannone. – [Woman] Go, Max! – [Announcer] Halimeh Ibrahim. (audience members cheering) Elizabeth Idowu. (audience members cheering) Benish Ikram. Gabrielle Ehizomhen Iluobe. (audience members cheering) Coriander Irvine. – [Woman] Well done, Cori! (audience member whistling) – [Announcer] Kanitha Iyampillay. Katie Louise Jager. Kaitlyn Anne Jaggers. Jasneet Jatana. – [Man] Well done, Jasneet! – [Announcer] Antia Jeyaseelan. Rita Jezrawi. Zyah Ixora John-Baptiste-Brereton. (audience members cheering) Stephanie Jokham. Allison Kathleen Jones. Carly Rose Jukes. (audience members cheering) Kaylyn Sandra Kalotinis. Alison Kam. Sameena Kassam. (man yelling) Audrey Anne Kern. (audience members cheering) Amrit Khaira. – [Man] Yeah, Amrit! – [Announcer] Sehrish Khan. Christiana Kiervin. Aleah Heather King. Taylor Kleven. Cassandra Koss. Benjamin Kow. Thomas Joseph Kruszynski. (audience members cheering) Amelia Kennedy Lamb. Nicole Elizabeth Langdon. (audience members yelling) Eliza Beverly Lanneval. (woman yelling) Hailey Elizabeth Learmonth. Joseph Lee. – [Man] That’s my boy! (audience laughing) – [Announcer] Vincenzo Loreto Leombruni. Erika Maria Lindberg. Melissa Linghorne. Christy Liu. Jodie Hilching Lo. (audience members cheering) Emily Margaret Logan. Mackenzie Annelise Lovatt. Yiyi Lu. – [Woman] Woo, I love you! – [Announcer] Sharon Luo. Rachel Luong. Justin MacLeod. Steffi Louise Magdaluyo. Ashley Dawn Mahon. Madison May Maitz. – [Man] What a girl, Maddie! – [Announcer] Christina Isabel Mangiola. Alyssa Mae Mapili. – [Man] Yay, big sis! – [Announcer] Hannah Martin. Natalie Jane Martin. Victoria Alexandra Mazzarolo. Courtney McClintock. Sierah Lauren Bridget McDowall. Daniel Wayne McLean. Alyse Clara Mercey. Elchana Michel. (audience members cheering) – [Man] That’s my girl! – [Announcer] Angel
Tamara Brittney Miller. – [Man] Yeah!
(audience members cheering) – [Announcer] Hannah Marie Miller. (audience members cheering) Shannon Nicole Miller. – [Man] Love you! – [Announcer] Alyssa Taylor Minas. Sana Minhas. Michael Hausamann Mirenzi. (audience members cheering)
– Go, Michael! – [Announcer] Jordan Montgomery. (man yelling) Nicole Victoria Moody. – [Man] Hey, hey! – [Announcer] Tristan Alexander Morris. Alexander Mouriopoulos. Cristina Movila. Hannah Patricia Mowbray. Joseph Murray. – [Woman] That’s my boyfriend! – [Announcer] Shannon Murray. – [Man] Well done! – [Announcer] Nivar Mustafa. Vitoria Neves. Lindsay Nooren. Daniela Nosowski. Emma Elizabeth O’Neil. Samantha Reigh O’Sullivan. Olivia Eraikhoba Omoruan. – [Man] Olivia! – [Announcer] Cristina Palermo. Selena Rae Paquin. Riley Hugh Patterson. Chance Stephen Perrie. Maria Cristina Petruzzi. – [Man] Maria! – [Announcer] Faith Taylor Pettipas. Jessica Caitlin Pickering. Ashton Richard Pilkey. Ariane Pragasam. – [Woman] Woo, way to go, Ariane! – [Announcer] Mikaela Predote-McLaughlin. (audience members cheering) Wren Maren Rose Puckett. – [Man] Go, Maren! – [Announcer] Priscilla Nhyira Quainoo. (audience members cheering) Sabrina Grace Raposo. Lauren Alexandra Ratcliffe. (audience member cheering) Sarah Marjorie Renner. – [Man] Yeah, you did it, girlie! – [Woman] We love you,
Sarah, so proud of you! – [Announcer] Clare Richardson. Bianca Alexandria Rinaldi. (audience members yelling) – [Man] Addagirl, Beebs! – [Announcer] Drake Roberge. (audience member cheering) Mikaela Romain. – [Man] Woo, Mikaela. – [Woman] We love you! – [Announcer] Michelle Rudzki. (audience members cheering) Camila Maria Rusiecki. (audience members cheering) Brandon Christian Sajor. Kira Salena. Adam Sandler. – [Woman] Woo, I love you! – [Announcer] Brooke Mary
Catharine Saundercook. (audience members cheering) – [Woman] Hey, girl! – [Announcer] Kacie Lynn Schneider. Queensley E. Scott. (audience member cheering) – [Woman] Love you, babe, love you! – [Announcer] Kristen A. Sears. – [Man] Way to go, Kristen! – [Announcer] Emma Setterfield. Joanna Shanthiyapillai. – [Man] Love you, girl! – [Announcer] Yiyu Shi. Noorain Siddiqui. – Go, Noorain!
(man yelling) – [Announcer] Lucas Rajbir Singh. Teshawn Anthony Smikle. (audience members cheering) Heather Brook Hartley Smith. Syeda Maryam Sohail. Jesse Anne Sonoda. Ashley Sookhai. Andreanne St-Jean. Courtney Sutherland. Yuk Shing Tan. Kaye Yan Ki Tang. (audience members cheering)
(woman yelling) Mark Anthony Terpstra. Selamawit Tesfaye. – [Man] Yeah! – [Announcer] Maegan Gisela Trottier. Alexa Valencia Lopez. – Yeah!
(audience members cheering) – [Announcer] Dunia
Lefrenda Villeda-Aguilar. – Dunia!
– Dunia! – [Announcer] Pia Sophie Vollmers. Dylan Gregory Ward. (audience members cheering) Lindsay Danielle Watt. Amanda Whalen. – [Woman] Amanda! – [Announcer] Arthika Shimea Wimalanath. (man yelling) Claire Woodley. Mona Xiao. Sarah Yellan. – [Man] Rivka! – [Announcer] Kelly Louise Zeagman. (audience members cheering) Amanda Megan Zivku. (audience applauding) – [Announcer] Madam Chancellor,
may I present to you, the following graduates of the degree, Bachelor of Social Work, Honours. Amna Baig. (audience member whistling) – [Man] Yay! – [Announcer] Madison Brockbank. Leah Christine Burton. – Go, Leah!
(audience members cheering) – [Announcer] Meagan Marie Capati. (audience members cheering)
– Yeah! – [Announcer] Caitlin Mckenzie Clause. (audience members cheering)
– Oh, come on! – [Announcer] Amber Conway. (audience members cheering) – [Woman] Get it, girl! – [Announcer] Erin Crook. (audience members cheering) Sarah Cecelia Dell. Charlene Dick. – [Man] Yeah, Char! – [Announcer] Jessica Danielle Evans. – Jessica!
(audience members cheering) That’s my girl! – [Announcer] Dua E. Fatima. (audience members cheering) – [Woman] I love you! – [Announcer] Safia Fettah. Jasmine Fong. Candace Kim Giles. Amy Nicole Grotenhuis. Taylor Jill Hocking. (audience members cheering) Shangaari Kanesalinkam. Matthew Kyle Kettings. Nicole Christina Kurtz. (audience members cheering) Genna Diane Little. – Yeah, Diane!
(audience members cheering) – [Announcer] Maria Carolina Lopez Ricote. (audience members cheering) Cadean Naomi Martin. – Yeah!
– Hell, yeah! – [Announcer] James Edward McGuirk. Olivia Grace Miles. – [Man] Yeah! – Madison Mills. Kim Nguyen. Lee Park. (audience members cheering) – Lay it on me. – [Announcer] Morgan Parnell. (audience members cheering) Kaiden Penney. (audience members cheering) Courtney Sullivan. (audience members cheering) Halle Uhde. (audience members cheering) – [Woman] Yeah, Halle, come on, lady! – [Announcer] Chriselle Vaz. (audience members cheering) Kayleigh Anne Gramwind. (audience members cheering) (audience applauding) Madam Chancellor, may I present to you, the following graduates of the degree, Bachelor of Arts and
Bachelor of Social Work. Mark James Boz. – Yeah!
(audience members cheering) – [Announcer] Mai Cai. Sarah Lynn Mills. (audience members cheering)
– Sarah! Sara Schafrick. (audience members cheering) – [Woman] That’s my girl! – Fatemah Shamkhi. (audience members cheering) Taylor Waters. Alexandra Christina Wright. (audience members cheering) (audience applauding) Madam Chancellor, may I present to you, the following graduates of the degree, Bachelor of Social Work. Kaitlan Elizabeth Brockbank. – [Woman] Go, Kaitlan! – Natalie Craig. Alysha Dossa. Erica Michelle Elliott. Michelle Diane Dagny Elliott. (audience members cheering) Dori Catherine Hone. – [Woman] Yeah, Dori! – [Announcer] Kendra MacKenzie. Kathleen McGuigan. Anniesha Nicole Thompson. Caitlin Eliza Thompson. (audience applauding) – Madam Chancellor, may I present to you, the following graduates of
the degree, Bachelor of Arts. Irtiqa Al-Wasiti. (audience member cheering) – [Man] Yeah, baby! – [Announcer] Liane Arandia. – Let’s go!
(audience members cheering) – [Announcer] Caroline Paige Baumgartner. Melissa Ann Bonus. Corey Bradt. Lucas Cristillo. Lucia Jane Fong. Maria Alejandra Garcia. Allyson Gassner. Lisa Gayk. Sarah Jalowica. – Yeah, Sarah!
(audience members cheering) – [Announcer] Sarah Kay. (audience members cheering) Frasier Keaney. Ainslee Kate Kislinsky. Emily Ann Lloyd. Melissa Parker. Olivia Pereira. – Olivia!
– Go, Olivia! I love you, pumpkin! – [Announcer] Kyle Derek Pypka. Sarah Schwarz. – Yeah, that’s my girlfriend!
(audience members cheering) (audience laughing) – [Announcer] Amar Sleiman. – [Man] Yeah, Amar! – [Announcer] Meron Tadesse. – Congratulations (mumbles). – All right, do it now? – Yup, go ahead. Congratulations. – [Announcer] Jillian Nicole Tait. Jiali Tu. Kayla Maxine Tuininga. Megan Walker. – [Woman] Yeah, Megan! – [Announcer] Delan Wang. Tara Yan. (audience applauding) – Let’s give one more round of applause to all of our graduates. (audience applauding) I would now like to
introduce Lindsay Nooren, a graduate of the degree, Bachelor of Arts Honours in Sociology, who will be delivering
the valedictory address. (audience cheering) – Okay, thank you so much,
and good morning, everyone. I can’t believe this day is finally here. There are way more people out there than I envisioned in my head, so it’s really awesome
for me, I love that. I can’t believe that this is here. It’s even crazier that I’m doing this without a second coffee, so
just bear with me, please. Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge
who’s with me on stage today. Dr. Suzanne Labarge, Chancellor
of McMaster University, as well as Dr. David Farrar, provost and ice-president,
academic, of McMaster University. And I would also like to give a shout out to all the honorary guests
on stage with me as well. But with that being said, I would love to give an honourable mention, and wholehearted thank-you
to all the loved ones of every single graduate here today. Without you we would not be here, so I’d like you a round of applause today. (audience applauding) Thank you. So looking back, I vividly
remember driving down the 403, and catching a glimpse of
the Hamilton Spectator sign on my way to move in to Les Prince Hall in the late summer of 2015, and becoming very aware that my life was about to change in countless ways. I believe that everyone
has a moment in their life where in that instant they know that everything as they know it will never be the same again. Seeing my parents in the rear-view mirror, finding comfort in a packed car, driving into unknown territory that I now had to call my new home, that was one of those moments for me. Now, I don’t think these
moments are singular in nature. In fact, feeling this
vibe in the room today, that feeling of impending
change and euphoria, is very prominent
throughout this room today. For those of you who don’t know me, I came from a small town by
the name of Aylmer, Ontario. To give you a little bit of context, you’re driving west down the 401, and before you get to London, Ontario, you smell that whiff of manure,
that’s Aylmer right there. (audience laughing) It’s equipped with four stop lights, two Tim Hortons, an arena,
and about 7,000 people, not including the livestock that is there. I was shocked to know that. But I had a small-town mindset, and I did not anticipate the road that I was about to go down, something I had come to notice
the first day of school, where I sat in a lecture hall that could fit my entire high school. I look out into this crowd
of my dearest friends, inspiring fellow classmates,
and hopeful change-makers, but most importantly, I see
a sea of critical thinkers, a group of allies, and the
future leaders of our community. Just look around, folks. You’re in the presence of a powerhouse of strong willed, determined,
passionate human beings, that I know will take the world by storm. We are becoming a generation that proves, being a wicked force of nature, but also putting your heart
into everything you do, are not mutually-exclusive categories. We keep our eyes on the prize, and our learning in and
out of the classroom has allowed us to to broaden
our abilities of caring deeply, understanding with empathy, and also having tremendous courage. Despite all the times that we were told, and we wondered where
our degrees would lead, or how we would use what we’re learning to make a difference, we had hope. Don’t ever let anyone
take that away from you, never stop standing up
for what you believe in, and always use your voice. I am so honoured and proud to have known many of you over the years. And the brilliance, and the
advocacy, and the strength, that I have seen in so many
of you, is so astounding, and I strongly believe this
will more than adequately translate into a very
bright future for humankind. No pressure, or anything. With that being said, I know that there are hundreds of reasons to be feeling incredibly
fearful, overwhelmed, scared. I am, right here. But there are also a hundred more reasons why you should be so
excited about this day. I could go on and on about
what you can accomplish with this degree. The list is as long as it is remarkable. But celebrate you today. You matter, you are worth it, you are capable, and you did this. Although this paper comes with incredibly-endless opportunity, it does not determine your path alone. Your heart does. Success isn’t about how
much money you make. It’s about the difference
you make in people’s lives. Michelle Obama said that. What a world it would be if
everyone just shows kindness. So let this be one of
those moments in your lives that is a staple for change. Feel that adrenaline and excitement, and know this is a step
towards a brighter world. Reflect on this accomplishment, and understand what it took to get here, because we all know it wasn’t easy. I will never be able to put into words how much McMaster has impacted my life, and I am truly left in debt for that. I love it, but I’m in debt, and I think all of our bank
accounts can relate to that. (audience applauding) Rest in peace. All jokes aside, fight the good fight, take the road less traveled
by, challenge the status quo, visit places you’ve never been, full of people you’ve never met. Be kind, but lead with your heart. Never forget where you came from. And I hope all of your
futures are as bright as the lights that are
currently blinding me right now, and I wish you the best of luck, but I know you don’t need it. Raps in six, and congratulations to
all the graduates today. (audience cheering) – Thank you, Lindsay. I now call upon Dean Hurley, who will present the President’s Award of Excellence in Student Leadership. – I’d like to ask Madison
Brockbank to join me on stage. (audience cheering) – [Woman] Go, Maddie! – Congratulations.
– Thank you. – So Madison is a newly-minted graduate from the Bachelor of Social Work program, who’ll be continuing her studies
at McMaster this September, as she begins her Masters
of Social Work program. With a long list of academic
awards and scholarships, Madison has also earned a
number of other achievements. She was the winner of the
Ryan and Leanne Clarke Advocacy and Active Citizenship Prize for her plan to improve sexual
violence prevention on campus by engaging male students. Her work as an Undergraduate Student Research Award recipient focused on male perspectives
of sexual violence, and led Madison to being invited as a presenter for organizations, including the Catholic
Family Services of Hamilton, the Sexual Assault and
Violence Intervention Services, the Canadian Association
of Social Work Education, the Qualitative Analysis Conference, and the Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton. Within her academic program, Madison served as the Vice
President of Administration for the Social Work Student Collective. She also connected McMaster
and local communities through a fundraiser and
awareness-raising event she orchestrated in support of the Sexual Assault Centre of Hamilton. In working with the sexual assault and violence intervention services, Madison was a workshop and
event-planning volunteer for the Male Ally Network,
and Take Back the Night. She also volunteered with the
Youth Aiding Youth program at the Reach Out Centre
for Kids in Burlington. So Madison, congratulation
for the President’s Award for Excellence in Student Leadership. – Thank you.
(audience cheering) – Handshake.
– Thank you. – There you go, present. – [Madison] Thank you. (audience applauding) – Congratulations, Madison. I would now like to
introduce Jahnekque Blake, a graduate from the Bachelor
of Arts class of 2014, and a representative of the
McMaster Alumni Association. Jahnekque will now deliver the
Alumni Association address. (audience applauding) – Chancellor Labarge, President Deane, award winners, honorees,
fellow alumni, guests, and especially members of
the McMaster class of 2019, if convocation could
talk, it might tell you, “You’re life is changing, “so come take part in this ancient ritual, “while your parents take pictures “of you wearing a borrowed gown.” Crossing this stage marks one of the most significant changes in your life. You are moving from
your career as a student to a career as a professional, or being an undergraduate to a graduate, or maybe you’re going to trade the goals and routines of university for something more freeform and personal. We all experience the graduation
transition in our own way. No doubt many more transitions are ahead, and as you move through
the stages of your life, what won’t change is that your experience earning your degree will
always be a part of you, and you will always be a
part of this community. At times that connection will feel strong. Other times it will take
a backseat gracefully to other priorities. But when you do wanna turn
that lifelong relationship into an activity, a social
media connection, volunteering, or any one of a dozen
other kinds of activities, your alumni association
will be there for you. That’s what they do. You can read about your alma mater, your fellow alumni,
and classmates, in MAC, the news magazine for alumni,
either in print or digitally, or through our monthly
e-newsletter, Maroon Mail. Check out the alumni site on Medium, and read about the fellow
grads’ real lives after Mac, learn from the career
newsletter, Insights, and join the Mac alumni communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. You are now members of Mac10, with programming specifically geared to the needs of graduates within the first 10
years after graduation. Whether you are looking for assistance getting that first job, or as you navigate next
steps in your career, the MMA has a number of resources, events, and programs to help, as well as an alumni career counselor, and will offer some fun socials, too. The MAA offers things you
probably didn’t realize, like great deals on
home and auto insurance, or health and dental
coverage plans, for example. And if you think moving away from Hamilton is going to cut your
connection to McMaster, that’s just not the case. If you do your part by keeping
your contact information up to date on your alumni
profile via the alumni site, you will receive invitations and notices about the events taking
place near where you live. They can’t get everywhere, but you will be surprised
where McMaster events pop up. And with online networking
events, mentoring, and webinars, you can always make a Mac connection. When you leave here today, I know it’s likely that
nothing I’ve just said will stick with you, and that’s fine. I won’t take it personally. But as a recent graduate myself, I do have a couple of tips for you. I’d encourage you to wear your Mac pride, and always share where you went to school. You’ll make some great connections with fellow Marauders out there, and the rest of the folks will just be impressed
with your credentials. And do take a minute to
check out the alumni website, read the emails, follow the posts, and learn what your new status
as alumni can offer you. And when that day comes, your curious and ready
to connect will be here. Marauders helping Marauders. Your alumni association,
after the Spring ceremonies, is over 200,000 strong. Members of the class of 2019, congratulations on your convocation, and welcome to McMaster
Alumni Association. We are very proud to have you
join the Mac alumni family. Well done. (audience applauding) – Thank you, Jahnekque. And congratulations to
the graduating class. I’m going to return to
what has become a theme of all the speakers at this convocation. We’re living at a pivotal
moment in human history. My generation is passing to yours a world in great need of
the your skills, experience, energy, and perhaps most
of all, your courage. You’re graduating into a world that is facing many of the most critical and widespread challenges
we have ever encountered. The impact of climate
change, colonization, economic inequality,
the changing workforce, food, and security, we’ll need to meet those
challenges and others with ingenuity, creativity,
humanity, and energy. We will need you to confront these issues with the talents and skills that you’re only the beginning
to develop and deploy. And in applying your
abilities and your potential, we need you quite simply to be bold, because that’s how one
person changes the world. The ideas, programs, efforts, and people, that truly make a difference are connected by the common
theme of bold decisions, and a belief in the
possibility of success. In this morning’s
honorary degree recipient, James O’Reilly’s citation, you heard that he built
a storied legal career on bold decisions, strategies, and cases. The result is that he reshaped the legal framework for our country, as it relates to the rights of indigenous peoples and nations. If you want to make a
better, brighter community, nation, or even world, the path that you follow will
be paved with bold decisions, bold ideas, and bold effects. The bravery of those moments may influence millions of people, or perhaps
a few, or simply only one, but your bravery will be worth it. As McMaster graduates, you are well-prepared to
navigate that kind of path. We are incredibly proud of the
work and the accomplishments that had brought you here today. When you receive your
diploma from McMaster, you will note that there’s
only one name on it, yours, but I suspect many people have helped you get to the
day of your graduation, family members, friends,
teachers, and mentors, who have supported,
inspired, and cheered you on. I hope that you’ll take
some time very soon to thank all of those people in your life who have helped you get to this morning. The end of your studies,
the granting of the degree, may feel like you’re
crossing the finish line, but you’re actually just beginning, and I wish you the very
best in your journey. If you read this morning’s
convocation program closely, you might notice that the last few minutes that I’ve spent at the microphone are supposed to be the
president’s address. As Provost and Vice-President, Academic, it has been my sincere privilege to speak to you this morning
in the President’s place. I also have the distinct honour of inviting our Chancellor
to offer her thoughts. After six years of service, this is the final week
that she will preside over McMaster convocation. She has served the McMaster community with grace and distinction
through every moment of her often demanding responsibilities, and as a McMaster graduate herself, she sets a wonderful example
for her fellow alumni, and certainly for the class of 2019. It’s my great pleasure to introduce our Chancellor, Suzanne Labarge. (audience applauding) – Thank you very much, Dr. Farrar. And congratulations to the class of 2019. As one of those 200,000
alumni that you’re joining, I’m going to be very interested in seeing where you all end up. And if I listen to your valedictorian, and saw what your medal
winner was able to, or your award winner did, I have enormous amount of confidence that this class is going somewhere, and is going to meet
all of those challenges that Dr. Farrar outlined. And I envy you. I must admit, I don’t
wanna start over again, but to be at the point where you are, to enter the world in times that are so changing, so challenging, is really an opportunity
that all of you have. And I’ll add a little bit of
things, of wishing you luck, and the reason I say that is, we sometimes overlook how
luck can change our world. Luck you can’t necessarily control. How you use that piece
of luck is your choice, and the best example I
will use is a conversation I had with our honorary
doctorate before convocation. And I asked him how he
ended up doing what he did, and he said, “I played
hockey with a Mohawk, “who was a fellow lineman. “We got to be friends. “When they were looking for a lawyer, “they said, ‘I know one.'” Now, taking that choice, jumping into a world
and nobody’d been into, that’s how you use luck, and all I can do is hope that you are open to that kind of thing, because it is what changes your life. And on that note, I
just wanna wish you all the very best going
forward, and best of luck. (audience applauding) Now, in closing, I have
one final announcement. I would ask that you please
remain standing at your seats until the academic procession and the graduates have left the hall. And finally, please join now in the singing of our national anthem. After the singing of the anthem, this convocation stands adjourned. (“O Canada”) ♪ O Canada ♪ ♪ Our home and native land ♪ ♪ True patriot love ♪ ♪ In all of us command ♪ ♪ With glowing hearts we see thee rise ♪ ♪ The True North strong and free ♪ ♪ From far and wide, O Canada ♪ ♪ We stand on guard for thee ♪ ♪ God keep our land ♪ ♪ Glorious and free ♪ ♪ O Canada ♪ ♪ We stand on guard for thee ♪ ♪ O Canada ♪ ♪ We stand on guard for thee ♪ (audience applauding) (upbeat piano music)

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