Ceremony Archives

This Year's Main Features

New Fall Convocation celebrates achievement and student success

As family, friends and guests watched, more than 190 graduates turned their faces towards the future in an inspiring celebration of student success.

"It is an honour to welcome everyone to this fall's Convocation ceremonies, the second of this year," Mount Royal President Dave Marshall told the attendees. "Today we celebrate the accomplishments of the people that are here today — our graduates."

Nearly every seat in the audience was filled for the ceremony, which included a number of firsts, such as Mount Royal's inaugural Instructor Emeritus Awards.

"As they do in most universities and colleges, these Instructor Emeritus Awards recognize retired faculty members for significant contributions and exceptional service during their long-term association with Mount Royal," said Robin Fisher, provost and vice-president, Academic, as he introduced the recipients.

The entire platform party and members of the audience gave a standing ovation to the award winners for 2008: C. Michael Fellows, Wayne Haglund, Ken Hoeppner and MaFooz Kanwar (see the story below).

Another first was the presentation of the Human Rights Award to Biology instructor Izak Paul.

"For the past 25 years, Dr. Izak Paul has promoted human rights and equality through his role as the principal organizer of the annual Holocaust Education Symposium held at Mount Royal," said Marshall,  who 


Mount Royal President Dave Marshall inspired the graduates with words of hope during Convocation.

helped choose the winner of the award in conjunction with the Ombudsperson/Human Rights Advisor, the Rights, Responsibilities and Respect Advisory Committee and Mount Royal's Board of Governors.

For the first time, the Convocation ceremony featured two Valedictorian addresses.

"This year, we had two wonderful candidates for Valedictorian. They were so exceptional that we decided to recognize them both," said John Giesbrecht, vice-chair of the Mount Royal College Board of Governors in his introduction.

Annika Johansson-Paquette, a graduate of the Bachelor of Applied Child Studies program, took the stage first with an entertaining speech that paid tribute to Mount Royal's faculty.


"There's a Chinese proverb that states: 'Teachers open the door but you must enter'," Johansson -Paquette said. "We have faculty who are...great because they inspired us. Anatole France believed 'the whole art to teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young — and apparently in my case, mature — minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.'

"They have seen the potential in our abilities and believed in our individual greatness.  Thus, after

(L to R) Broadcasting graduates Kayley Raffin, Stephanie Cook, Kari Siegfried and Stacey Budziak celebrate Convocation by the Mount Royal pond.

creating opportunities to challenge our thinking, they look on with a sense of pride and respect as we take a stand for our values and convictions. They have pushed our limits and become our mentors."

Once every graduate crossed the stage to receive their parchment, Valedictorian Christy Poirier spoke. Poirier, who earned her Broadcasting diploma from Mount Royal, is currently working as a morning news anchor and afternoon reporter in Medicine Hat.

Her light-hearted speech inspired the audience as she shared life lessons from her time at Mount Royal and in the work place.

Her final message: "Love what you do."

"Whether you're working in the oilfields, sitting at a desk, reading the daily news, or teaching a group of nine-year-olds, do it out of passion," Poirier said. "It can take two or three cracks to pinpoint what you want, but you're certainly not alone. Education is never wasted — it's how you act upon the training that makes the difference.

"The end of college doesn't mean the end of learning. It's actually just getting started. So, as you leave here today, take the support of your family, friends, classmates, teachers, and coaches and do something extraordinary."

- Nancy Cope

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Instructor Emeritus Awards handed out

The General Faculties Council has honoured four retired instructors with Emeritus Awards for their significant contributions and exceptional service at Mount Royal.

C. Michael Fellows, Wayne Haglund, Ken Hoeppner and Mafooz Kanwar were presented with the awards at Convocation on Nov. 7.

Fellows, a full-time faculty member who served six years chairing the Departments of Economics and Political Science and later Policy Studies, retired from Mount Royal in 2006.

"Michael was the recipient of a Distinguished Teaching Award and the Student Association of Mount Royal College's E-award for teaching excellence," Robin Fisher, provost and vice-president, Academic, told the graduates.


Robin Fisher, provost and vice-president, Academic, presented the Instructor Emeritus Awards at Convocation.

Haglund, who retired from Mount Royal in 2004 after 35 years, taught a variety of geology and general education courses, always striving to do ‘something new' either in curriculum development or research.

"While maintaining a full-time teaching load, Wayne completed his PhD and published numerous articles. He continues to research and publish during retirement," Fisher added.

Hoeppner, who retired last year, has served Mount Royal in many capacities — as an instructor in the English Department, a Department Chair, a Dean, a Special Projects Officer, a Director of Research and Special Projects and as the Associate Vice-President Research.

"Dr. Hoeppner was an inspiration to his students, serving as a mentor to many," said Fisher.

Kanwar, who retired in 200 after 39 years, had a distinguished career as a teacher and scholar. He continues to teach part-time and often writes columns for the Calgary Herald and the Calgary Sun.

"He continues to raise Mount Royal's profile with his media presence around culture, gender, religion and family issues and crime," said Fisher.

- Tara Merrin

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Note: For more information on this ceremony, visit this year's main page.