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36 / Summer 2011 / RECORD
B
eing a Chancellor gives one a
unique view on Convocation Day.
no one else has one quite like ours.
Every student, at the penultimate moment,
is right there in front of you. As one said to
me this year, "I have worked all these years
just to reach these few seconds."
For me it's an honour to share those sec-
onds, and to see just how differently they
affect each and every person as they receive
their degree. Some are truly giddy and do
crazy things, spinning around, laughing,
shouting out to their family, and one year I
even had a few students pull out their cam-
eras from under their gowns, and holding
the shutter themselves, snap the moment
for history! For others it's a time of true
tension, they are literally shaking as they
take my hand in congratulations. And
finally there are those who are overcome
with emotion -- in, or about to be in,
tears. This year one young woman looked
at me and said, "It's taken me nine years to
get to this moment." nine years. I could
only imagine the various issues that must
have delayed the day that long. She was
almost crying, and in that instant so was I,
just at the thought of what she might have
been through.
I'm often asked whether it's tiring to spend
hours shaking hands, and talking with
the hundreds of students who walk the
stage to get their degrees. This is why the
Chancellor's view is so unique because I
respond, "Are you kidding? Those moments
are ones of pure joy, I would not trade
them for anything." And I wouldn't.
This year, as the ceremony came to an end,
I reminded the graduates that as they left
our Hall for the last time they would be
in the footsteps of so many former Alliso-
nians who have helped make our world a
better place, in part through the knowl-
edge and companionship gained in our
community. As I looked out on this year's
faces, I was confident the class of 2011 will
not disappoint those who walked here
before them.
Peter Mansbridge
University Chancellor
pure
joy
Moments of