Spring 2023 Convocation started with a timeless gift, as the Blackfoot Confederacy Drum Group gathered around their drum on the Jack Singer Concert Hall stage and shared the Bow Valley College Honour Song.
The Honour Song was gifted to the College by Elder Clarence Wolfleg in a recent transfer ceremony. Our morning ceremony on June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, was the first time it was shared at a public event. The College has shared a video about the significance of this song and how it was transferred to us. Please find the video here or below this article.
“This Honour Song will become the heartbeat of our College,” President Misheck Mwaba said in his address to graduates. “It is a powerful reminder of the land that we live on and our responsibility to honour it as we continue our journey towards reconciliation.”
The June 21 morning ceremony marked another significant moment for the College, as, for the first time at convocation, School of Foundational Learning and School of Global Access graduates walked the stage to celebrate finishing their programs.
"We are proud to host this ceremony today and to acknowledge that you have completed your valuable social and educational achievements here at Bow Valley College,” Misheck told graduates.
There were many other inspiring moments throughout the two days of convocation ceremonies.
Graduates from the Bow Valley College Centre for Entertainment Arts, the Chiu School of Business, and the School of Technology were cheered on by family and friends as they convocated the afternoon of June 21. School of Community Studies and School of Health and Wellness graduates were celebrated on June 22.
The Jack Singer Concert Hall was packed with supporters of the more than 1,200 graduates who walked the stage over the two days, and thousands tuned in to the ceremony online.
Graduates, guests, and Bow Valley College employees heard insightful speeches from valedictorians Asma Parveen (School of Global Access), Lauren Kruger (Centre for Entertainment Arts), Kurt Blind (School of Community Studies), and Amy Fazackerley (School of Health and Wellness).
Asma thanked her peers for enriching her life.
“Your diverse backgrounds and experiences have taught me so much,” she said. “I have had a chance to interact and work with doctors, lawyers, and engineers from all over the world. We have shared laughter, tears, and triumphs.”
In her address to graduates, Lauren acknowledged the women who have played a crucial role in promoting representation in the technology and entertainment industries.
“Your strength, resilience, and determination have shattered barriers and paved the way for others to follow,” she said.
Kurt encouraged his graduating class to “go forward from today with a renewed commitment to be of service and to build an equitable future for all.”
“Let us create a world where future generations build communities based on the principles of kindness and respect,” he said.
Amy, a Practical Nurse Diploma graduate, vowed to offer empathy and compassion to patients and their families when they need it most.
“I will support my colleagues, just as my classmates supported me throughout the program,” she told graduates.
“And I will actively listen to patients and their families, nurse educators, coworkers, and even friends and family who may not be in healthcare. Their insights, suggestions, and even their criticisms can be used to better ourselves and provide better care.”
Guest speakers Keith Blake, Chief of Police of the Tsuut’ina Nation Police Service, Mayor Jyoti Gondek, and alumna Dilshad Velji also shared their words of advice with the Spring 2023 graduating classes.
“Thinking back to being a little girl from that small town in Tanzania, I never dreamed of this moment that I would be standing here speaking to a graduating class at my alma mater,” Dilshad said. “I am living proof that hard work, perseverance, and courage will take you far in this world and that only you can make your futures bright with these qualities.”
Bow Valley College granted honorary diplomas – the College’s highest honour – to Eleanor Chiu, Trico Group Chief Financial Officer, and Trico Group founder Wayne Chiu. Each of them shared words of advice and inspiration with graduates.
Eleanor encouraged CEA, Chiu School of Business, and School of Technology graduates to “embrace the endless possibilities with courage, pursue your dreams, and lead the world with kindness.”
“And above all, I encourage you to embrace your entrepreneurial spirit and make positive and meaningful contributions to society," she said.
Wayne told School of Health and Wellness graduates they have chosen a path that can touch countless lives and bring about meaningful change.
“Embrace your role as ambassadors of wellness, and never underestimate the power of your dedication, expertise, and empathy,” he said.
Congratulations to all graduates!