On May 29, hundreds of students from across McGill’s Health Sciences programs packed the tent on lower campus, joined by family and friends on a sunny spring day, to receive their degrees and become, officially, graduates of McGill University.
“It almost doesn’t feel real”, said Chrissy Mitchell, who graduated from the Ingram School of Nursing. “You see how proud the parents are and you don’t really think about that while you’re in school and working so hard and now you see that they’re happy for us and they can see that we accomplished a lot and they’re proud. They worked hard to. They supported us. The end result is really worth it.”
For some, like Roma Desai who graduated from the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy and Pan Liu, who graduated from the School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the day was a long time coming. “It’s a really rewarding experience to be able to see all of your friends again after a while because we finished 6 months ago so,” said Desai who has been working at Concordia Physio Sport since finishing up her courses. “I’m going to miss the McGill experience, it was great.”
“Being at convocation and seeing all the people in the academic gowns, it gives me this sense that this is a real serious thing,” added Liu who defended her PhD thesis six months ago. “Doing a PhD is always tough but at the end after I passed my defense and now at convocation, I can say this is rewarding. All of the painful past moments of doing a PHD are all worth it now.” Ensuring that this would not be a day that Liu would soon forget, her post-convocation celebration was made more memorable when her boyfriend Tan Mao asked her to marry him on bended knee.
Love appeared to be a theme for the 2015 graduates, with MDCM graduate James Tsui recognizing the support he received from his wife that allowed him to focus on completing medical school. “She’s been putting up with me not being there during clerkship, me not always being beside her and almost being as if she was a single mother because I was too busy either studying or being in the hospital,” noted Tsui. “So today is the day that I’m finally going to graduate and I just want to take this opportunity to thank her for always being there for me and never complaining when I should be home but I’m not. So thank you Yoyo, I love you!”
During the ceremony, the graduating students were joined on the platform by Dr. Nubia Muñoz, who received an honourary doctorate and during her address told graduates that, “You have been privileged with talent and good education. Now it is up to you to make the best with what you have been given.” Also recognized during the event with the Osler Award for Excellence in Teaching was Dr. Geoffroy Noel, Director, Division of Anatomical Sciences in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology. “This is quite an honour,” said Dr. Noel who taught not only medical students but physical and occupational therapy as well, and estimates that he probably knew about 400 of those graduating. “The legacy of this award and to be recognized with all of the previous recipients who were so illustrious in their careers, this is very rewarding and really touching.”
Below is a selection of photos from the Health Sciences 2015 Convocation: