Convocation Update

Convocation Update

Dear members of the Class of 2021,

We hope that you are healthy, safe and in good spirits.

As you know, when we decided to postpone your June 2021 Convocation, we hoped to hold an on-campus event in August, and we committed to letting you know our plans by July 1st.

Regrettably, it now appears that we will not be able to hold an in-person ceremony in August 2021.

Although the public health guidelines have been relaxed somewhat in recent weeks, the current rules in the Eastern Townships would severely limit the number of people who could be welcomed in the Denver Gym. (For example, the audience would have to be divided into independent sections of no more than 250 people, each of which would have to have separate entrances, exits and sanitary facilities. Students and guests who do not reside at the same address would have to sit at least 1.5 metres apart and graduating students would have to be masked when crossing the stage.)

Furthermore, it is likely that many graduating students and their families would not be able or be willing to travel to Lennoxville in August and the celebrations that are normally held in conjunction with Convocation would also likely be curtailed.

It is possible that the rules may be further relaxed by the end of the summer, but it is also possible that the spread of the Delta variant may result in further restrictions.

For these reasons and based on the recommendation of Quebec’s public health authorities, we have decided to hold a two-part Convocation which will begin with a virtual ceremony on Saturday, August 28th, 2021 and conclude with in-person ceremonies for the graduating classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 from Friday, June 3rd to Sunday, June 5th, 2022.

The Convocation schedule will be as follows:

  • Saturday, August 28th, 2021, noon – 1:30 p.m. EDT: virtual ceremony for the Class of 2021
  • Friday, June 3rd, 2022: in-person Convocation ceremony for the Class of 2020
  • Saturday, June 4th, 2022: in-person Convocation ceremony for the Class of 2021
  • Sunday, June 5th, 2022: in-person Convocation ceremonies for the Class of 2022

The virtual ceremony will include some of the elements of a traditional Convocation with a recognition of each graduate and addresses by the two Valedictorians, the Chancellor and the Principal.

Our intention is to make the in-person Convocation period between June 3rd and 5th, 2022 one of the largest celebrations in Bishop’s history.

Your Convocation next spring will include a traditional in-person event with a formal ceremony in academic regalia in which each student who is present will cross the stage to be acknowledged by the Chancellor, the Principal, their classmates, professors, families and friends. We will bestow Honorary Degrees, and honour a Distinguished Professor Emeritus, a Turner Teaching Award winner, an Alumnus/Alumna of the Year and the winners of major student awards.

The formal ceremonies are its centrepiece, but there are many other important aspects of a Bishop’s Convocation. By holding the in-person ceremonies next June we want to give you the opportunity to celebrate with your friends and families and with the faculty, librarians and staff who have supported you during your time at Bishop’s.

With that goal in mind, we will hold two Chancellor’s Graduation Dinners, one for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 on Friday, June 3rd, and one for the Class of 2022 on Saturday, June 4th.

We will also organize additional events where the Classes of 2020, 2021 and 2022 can gather and celebrate together.

There are many components to work out for both portions of the Convocation and the details of the ceremonies next June may need to be modified once we know how many members of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 will be present.

We hope that you will understand why we have decided to proceed in this way and we look forward to celebrating your Convocation with you.

Please put both the August 28th, 2021 and the June 2022 dates in your calendar.

With warm best wishes to all of you.

Be healthy
Be resilient

Daniel Fournier

Michael Goldbloom, C.M.
Principal and Vice-Chancellor