Ceremony Archives

Main Feature June 2008

Rousing speeches mark 2008 spring Convocation

It was another memorable Mount Royal Convocation June 6 with the Triple Gym packed with pride, emotion and nervous smiles on the faces of hundreds of students and their families. More than 500 students, who crossed the stage during two ceremonies, are now headed for bright careers in Calgary, Alberta and beyond.

“This is certainly the most special day in the year at Mount Royal. It’s the day we put aside everything else, all of our concerns,” Mount Royal President Dave Marshall told the attendees at both the morning and afternoon ceremonies.

“This is the day when the only thing that we yell from the rooftops is something related to the wonderful success and the honour we have in participating in this graduation ceremony.”

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Mount Royal President Dave Marshall addresses the graduates on June 6.

Marshall went on to honour the hard work of both students and faculty.

“The credit belongs to each of you for the considerable effort that you put into your program that has brought you here today. But there is certainly one group that can take some credit today, one group that separates Mount Royal from all the rest and that is a group of faculty that believes each of you can succeed.

“Nothing represents the 98 years of tradition of dedication to student success better than the faculty of Mount Royal,” said Marshall.

The crowd responded by applauding Mount Royal faculty members who were seated on the stage.

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Once all the graduates received their parchments, Valedictorian and Bachelor of Financial Services grad Brian Bate took to the stage with a rousing and inspired speech which focused on the theme of purpose.

“I’d like to praise Mount Royal as an institution for its continued commitment to growth, integrity and betterment. Mount Royal always gave me the feeling that it was doing everything it could to be the best it could possibly be. I’m so proud to say I’m a Mount Royal graduate.”

Valedictorian Brian Bate gave an inspired speech which focused on the theme of purpose.


Bate told fellow students his purpose was to leave a lasting challenge to his peers.

Quoting Mel Gibson from his role as Scottish hero William Wallace in the movie Braveheart, Bate asked the students, “In dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all of the days from this day to that, for one chance to stand up and say…” Bate left the quote open-ended for students to add their own endings.

“In life sometimes you only get one chance, one moment to ‘stand up’. Our education here at Mount Royal has made us ready,” added Bate, who received enthusiastic applause from his fellow students.

Bate also touched on the struggles many students have faced and overcome in their years of study at Mount Royal.


That was one part of the Valedictorian speech that 24-year-old Journalism graduate Michael Cook said he could relate to.

“Mount Royal is the place where my life got back on track. I’d done the university thing before and it didn’t pan out and I’d had a couple of years where I was in a funk,” said Cook. “Coming here, things turned around for me and I found out what I loved doing. It’s smaller so you get a lot more attention and more focus and there’s a practical side, which really did it for me.”

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Janice Robertson shows how proud she is of student Anisa Ahmad, Bachelor of Applied Communications, Public Relations.


“Convocation is an ending point where you can say ‘I’ve accomplished something’ and it’s actually something that means something. It’s not just a piece of paper, it’s about moving on to the next phase of my life,” said Cook.

- Dan McGarvey

Note: For more information on this ceremony, visit the June 2008 main page.