Article by 25366 Anna-Michelle Shewfelt
Photos by CFB Kingston Base Photo
Sixty years ago this year the Royal Military College of Canada received degree granting status from the Province of Ontario. And on Thursday, May 16, 2019, for the 114th time, the College did just that. Graduates, their family and friends, faculty and staff, and honoured guests gathered in the fieldhouse of the Kingston Military Community Sports Centre to celebrate the end of one chapter for the graduates and the beginning of another.
As Vice Chancellor of RMC, and College Commandant, 18777 BGen Sébastien Bouchard told the graduates, “Right now you probably feel like you’ll never go back to school again. The reality is that many of you will, within the next few years, complete at least a Master’s degree.” As he joked, “The registrar can take your application as soon as this ceremony is done.”
“In all seriousness,” he went on, “there are three secrets to academic success. First, you have to be accepted to a post-secondary institution. You chose one that is unique. Second, there can be no university without help from the faculty, and again, the faculty here are unique. I haven’t seen many other academic insitutions where they are as invested in your success as they are here at RMC. Finally, you need strong family support. You didn’t get this far on your own. Today is an acknowledgement of your families as well.” He paused. “I am proud of you and I hope that our paths will cross again.”
14458 BGen (ret’d) Dr. Harry Kowal, Principal of RMC, echoed the words of the Commandant. “It is indeed a great day and for so many,” he said. “The RMC experience is not an easy one but sometimes the most difficult can be the most rewarding. You are prepared for the road ahead and you have the RMC advantage. You have trained in a military environment for the last four years, you have succeeded academically, and you have shown an incredible work ethic. You also have your classmates and the friendships which will last for the rest of your lives.”
As Minister of National Defence The Honourable Harjit Singh Sajjan, observed, “As Cadets you have already proven yourselves by making it this far. You join a proud lineage which has accomplished great things all around the world (and even in space). You will face your share of difficult days and you will be tested. Wherever you serve, know that our support will be unwavering. You are the best that Canada has to offer and so I offer you my heartiest congratulations.”
Minister Sajjan, in his role as Chancellor of RMC, had the privilege to introduce Her Excellency The Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Armed Forces. In a charismatic, lively, and off-the-cuff speech, she reminded the graduates, “Yes, we’re here to celebrate your achievements and reward all that hard work, but tomorrow morning is payback. With privelege comes responsibility and you have the responsibility now to use your brains and your smarts and all the tools you have been given.”
As she went on, “Someone once said that the road to success is dotted with many parking places. Resist that temptation! You’ve made it here but don’t stop here. I hope you will never stop using the values that you got here. Reach across differences and cherish diversity. Dare to dream. Whether you were born here or immigrated here, this is the best country in the world to be whoever you want to be. Make use of that!”
Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette joined 5586 Ian Mottershead (RRMC/RMC 1962) as recipients of honorary degrees, Doctorate of Laws – Honoris Causa for her and Doctor of Laws – Honoris Causa for him. (For more on that please see here.) They joined more than three hundred others who crossed the stage to receive Bachelor’s, Master’s, or doctorate level degrees. For a complete list of degree recipients please see below.
The Convocation ceremony was livestreamed on RMC’s Facebook page and can be found here.
Congratulations to the Class of 2019!
For a complete list of degree recipients please click the link below. / Pour une liste complète des diplômés, veuillez cliquer sur le lien ci-dessous.