“The Education We Have Earned Is a Gift” - STU Celebrates Spring Convocation
Kira Chisholm wants her fellow graduates to use the voice they found at St. Thomas University to make a difference in society.
In her valedictory at Spring Convocation, she spoke to the 363 graduates in social work, applied arts, and arts about the responsibility that comes with a university education.
“As we move forward, recognize that you are armed with the ability to think deeply. Recognize that power and responsibility,” said the Keswick Ridge, NB, native, who received her Bachelor of Arts (Honours in English Literature and Honours in Political Science).
“St. Thomas has taught us the value of a voice. I hope you value your own voice. I hope that you use it to speak up for yourself. I hope that you also use it to speak for those who truly cannot do so for themselves - and that you have the humility to recognize the difference. The education we have earned is a gift. It is not available to everyone, and the question is what will you do with it?”
President and Vice-Chancellor Dawn Russell told the Class of 2019 that they shouldn’t worry about their future. Instead, she told them to create it for themselves.
“You determine the direction you are going to take. Like STU graduates before you, you will eventually find your way to an exciting and fulfilling career. For more than 100 years, St. Thomas has educated leaders in almost every field and endeavour.”
During the ceremony, the university bestowed honorary doctorates on Indigenous filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin and award-winning musician David Myles.
“Both of these individuals are celebrated artists who use their voice to highlight social issues,” said Russell. “We are honoured to recognize their work.”
David Myles spoke to the graduates about the importance of keeping an open mind, of embracing new situations, and of lifelong learning.
“I’m here to tell you to keep that spirit alive. Keep that curiosity alive,” he said. “When you get outside of your comfort zone, that’s when the gold happens. Those are the moments when you grow. That’s where the magic is. Keep seeking that. Keep on seeking those moments of expansion.”
• Governor General’s Academic Medal: Elizabeth Dreise, Owen Sound, ON – Bachelor of Arts (Honours in Psychology)
• University Medal for Arts: Anisha Romany, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago – Bachelor of Arts (Honours in Interdisciplinary Studies and Honours in Spanish)
• University Medal for Social Work: Taylor Stright, Summerside, PE - Bachelor of Social Work
Honouring Faculty Members
St. Thomas University honoured four faculty members for their professional achievement and impact on the university.
• Dr. Patrick Malcolmson received the designation Professor Emeritus.
• Dr. Monika Stelzl received the John McKendy Memorial Teaching Award.
• Dr. Janet Durkee-Lloyd received the Award for Excellence in Part-Time Teaching.
• Dr. Christian Mbarga received the University Scholarship Award.