RMCC’s 105th Convocation Ceremony
The ceremony began with the graduates and Royal Military College of Canada Senate procession being piped in. After the honored guests arrived, RMC’s 105th convocation was blessed by Padre LCdr Catherine Mackinnon.
This was followed by speeches from the Commandant of RMC, BGen Sean Friday (also the College’s vice-chancellor) and the Principal, BGen (ret’d) Dr. Harry Kowal. Both of whom are Ex Cadets congratulated the graduates on this momentous occasion and spoke to the unique nature of RMCC and its focus on educating tomorrow’s leaders.
MORE…including quotes from graduates and a professor
Honorary doctorate of laws degrees were awarded to Ms Carol Off, a Canadian television and radio journalist who over many decades as a journalist, has covered many stories concerning the Canadian Forces; and Dr. David Bercuson, a renowned military historian. Ms. Off addressed the graduates and spectators and spoke about her time on embed with Canadian soldiers. She remarked that CAF soldiers and officers are among the most respected in the world. She concluded by reiterating that Canada’s officers are impressive individuals. They are among the most honest, capable and well-educated people that the co-host of CBC Radio’s ‘As It Happens’ has worked with.
Following this, post-graduate, graduate and bachelor’s degrees were handed out. After years of hard work and rigorous academic challenge, the efforts of the graduates were recognized. Also, departmental medals were handed out to those who distinguished themselves in their respective field of study. The most touching presentation was the final degree handed out. After every other undergraduate received their degree, Dr. Kowal presented a posthumous Bachelor of Arts Degree in Politics to the mother and father of Harrison Kelertas. OCdt Kelertas also won the politics department medal.
Eight certificates for the Non-Commissioned Member Executive Professional Development Programme were awarded by Director of Cadets, Lieutenant Colonel,Christopher Renahan.
This was followed by academic awards for those who went above and beyond in their studies. Finally, Padre Capt Ryan Carter delivered the benediction and the senate procession departed, ending the convocation ceremony.
The Chancellor of the Royal Military College of Canada, The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan, Minister of National Defence would have conferred all the degrees but pressing business in the House of Commons prevented him from arriving at the scheduled start time.
However, he did make it to the Field House!
Following all the formalities and while people had started to exit the building, the MND arrived. He made a point and took the time to meet and take pictures with the graduates and their families and to congratulate them on their remarkable accomplishment.
Quotes From Graduates and a Professor:
“Well its one thing to get to the end of four years of hardwork and see that culminate in this awesome ceremony and this great turnout, but it’s a whole other thing to be surrounded by people you spent those four years with and I could not be graduating with a better group of people today”
– 26583 OCdt John Jacob
“It feels really good. Tomorrow is the commissioning parade, today doesn’t mean a lot of people, but after they get their diploma I think they’ll understand putting in four years of work really means a lot, especially those who have been here for six or five, like some of the CMRs. We put a lot of emphasis on the commissioning parade, but I think for a lot of the parents this means more”
– 26851 OCdt Ali Mansour
“For my guys in MSS, it’s been a wonderful year, great group of cadets, some really high fliers, people who’ve come a long way. It’s amazing to watch them come in and watch them go out being so successful”
– Dr. Kevin Brushett, Head of Military and Strategic Studies
“I think it was a bit harder than St. Jean for sure in terms of academics but I’m definitely happy to leave the university world and do my job in the military, that’s for sure”
– 26420 OCdt William Carle
“I’m going to miss my friends obviously. We’re looking forward to the future as officers, and to providing new leadership between the forces. We’ll definitely be back to RMC in the future and meet back with our friends on reunion weekends. Other than that, it’s finally great to get out of here.”
– 26559 OCdt Alexander Landry
“I would say it’s pretty exciting standing here, getting to ready to walk on in there for convocation, after four years of a long haul, it’s all come to this. I’m pretty excited about that”
– 26783 OCdt Jeffrey Arnold
Flickr convocation photos – here…