Bishops adapts their 2020 convocation

By Matthew Sylvester, Special to The Record

In response to the risks of holding a large gathering during the ongoing pandemic situation, Bishop’s University has made a few changes to the way that 2020’s convocation will play out. Instead of the normal ceremony hosting over 1,000 in the Denver gym, graduating students will have a two-part ceremony including a virtual element on Saturday, Aug. 29, and an in-person ceremony next year on June 4, 2021.
“We wanted to give the students the experience of being able to walk across that stage,” said Denize Lauziere, Chief of Staff of the office of the Principal at Bishop’s. She explained that the only options to consider were to completely cancel, to have a virtual convocation, or to wait until next year to hopefully have it in person.
After the convocation’s committee spoke with the student body, Lauziere told The Record that it was obvious the students were heartbroken at not being able to attend an in-person ceremony. “We decided to do both,” she said. This allows people who unfortunately can’t make it back to Lennoxville next year the chance to celebrate, while giving those who can the opportunity to be handed their diplomas by the principal.
The convocation was already postponed from its original date in early June back when the severity of the pandemic had finally settled in for Quebeckers. Now, with social gatherings limited to only 250 people, the university has decided to change up the way graduates will get to celebrate completing their degrees.
First, students will be getting their diplomas and prizes by mail. This ensures no chance of spreading the virus by bringing large amounts of people to the same place to collect the paperwork.
A virtual convocation will be held on Saturday that includes most of the elements from a traditional in-person ceremony. A band of pipers will kick off the ceremony, followed by words from the university’s Chancellor, Principal, and 2020 Valedictorians. Each graduating student will get their own slide during the main presentation, and everything will end off with the swearing in of Bishop’s new Chancellor, Daniel Fournier.
The university is also giving the convocation a strong social media presence to help the students maintain the sense of community Bishop’s is so famous for. Family and friends can check out the event’s Facebook page for filters and templates to help celebrate the occasion. The entire ceremony will be available to anyone through the university’s YouTube page.

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