Ceremony Archives

Main Features 2007

Mount Royal turns “passion into purpose”

"Effective colleges and universities have faculty who believe in their students. They believe with a little help, any student can achieve their highest potential."
Mount Royal President
Dave Marshall

The sun was shining just as brightly as the student’s faces and futures at Convocation 2007. Mount Royal’s Triple Gym was filled with the tears, cheers and laughter of more than 3,500 people celebrating student success June 1.

“Convocation is the very best day of the year at Mount Royal,” President Dave Marshall told morning and afternoon ceremony attendees. “It’s the day we’re reminded that our most important measure of success at Mount Royal doesn’t mean more degrees, more programs or balanced budgets, but the accomplishments of the people that we honour here in this room.”

During his speech, the crowd rose to its feet to give a standing ovation to Mount Royal faculty members.

“Effective colleges and universities have faculty who believe in their students. They believe with a little help, any student can achieve their highest potential,” said Marshall amid the cheers of the crowd. “And we have a 97-year-old tradition of the dedication of faculty to the success of students.”

Once every graduate crossed the stage to receive their parchment, Valedictorian Ryan Correy took to the stage to share his life’s mission ― to make his own dreams come true and to inspire others to do the same.

“I am a firm believer that any challenge can be overcome, should the passion to do so be there. But passion alone will only get us so far and this is why many of us arrived here at the College ― we had a need to turn our passion into a purpose,” said Correy. For his first Directed Field Study, he cycled 25,000 kilometres from Alaska to Argentina to raise funds and awareness for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity that helps make dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses.

“Whether you were here for four years, two years or just today, I would like to believe that we have all found some purpose in our time at Mount Royal.”

Correy explained that his purpose is the pursuit of a dream.

“And not a dream that can be defined in black and white terms, but rather, a feeling inside that speaks to me with a quiet confidence and says, ‘One day you will change the world.’ ”

Students like Jeff Boyle were encouraged by Correy’s words.

“Today was very exciting and inspiring,” said the Bachelor of Applied Business and Entrepreneurship – Small Business program grad. “I also had a great time in my four years at Mount Royal and I’m looking forward to using what I learned here in the future.”

His mother and grandmother were on campus to share the day with him.

“I wouldn’t have missed it for anything,” said his grandmother Olive, who was in the hospital the day before. “I made sure I was out in time to make it to see him cross the stage.”

His mother Sheila was also bursting with pride. “I’m so proud of him for being on the Dean’s honour roll every semester,” she said. “His father passed away while he was in school and it was his wish for Jeff to graduate and carry on and finish his program. I know Jeff’s dad is here today with him.

“Vance Gough is such an awesome instructor. He’s really been a mentor for Jeff and he’s given him the encouragement Jeff’s dad would have given him had he been here.

“It’s almost like one big family here, I’m so glad he chose to study at the Bissett School of Business.”

- Carla Shiels

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A student remembered

When her family and friends speak of her, the words “energetic, creative, hard working, people person and intelligent” fill the room alongside laughter and tears as they relive the memories.

Erin Reid, 21, should have crossed the stage June 1, but tragically she lost her life in January. Parents Lori and Jeff were on campus to honour their daughter and accept the parchment on her behalf.

“Convocation was something we were already looking forward to when she was still here with us and I know she was looking forward to it,”


President Dave Marshall with Erin Reid's parents Lori and Jeff.

said Jeff, Erin’s father. “We also wanted to see her close friends graduate because they have been a big part of Erin’s life and our lives.

He says Mount Royal was an important part of Erin’s journey.

“She focused on her studies for years and went through quite a transformation there. She was never the student she was in high school as she was at Mount Royal,” said Jeff of Erin, who passed away in a sudden accident.

Her big sister Ashley agrees, adding: “The hard work she did here at Mount Royal has inspired me.”

Her mother Lori says if Erin were at Convocation, she would have done something fun and crazy on stage.

“She would have loved this. She had fun everyday. Her life motto was ‘work hard, play hard.’ This would’ve been the icing on the cake for her,” she said. “But, I feel she is here with us today and is very happy we’re here.”

Erin’s closest friends and Bachelor of Applied Business and Entrepreneurship – Small Business classmates, really missed her at Convocation.

“She was such a hard worker and so fun to be around. We had so many good times together, I really miss her and I wouldn’t have gotten through my program without her help,” said Catherine Plumb, who met Erin at Mount Royal.

“I miss her today too. It feels like she should be here graduating. She earned it more than anyone,” said Emma Mains.

Her father says it’s her smile he misses most.

“It was her greatest attribute. She could light up the room with it. You just could not help but smile back, no matter how bad you were feeling.”

- Carla Shiels

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Note: For more information on this ceremony, visit the 2007 main page.