Convocation 2019

Convocation is a unique event, a time to celebrate with those who have helped you reach your goals — family, friends and members of the uOttawa community.

The Faculty of Arts celebrated its Spring convocation ceremony on the morning of Monday, June 17th at 9:30 a.m. at the Ottawa Shaw Centre. 653 graduates were surrounded by their friends, families and university community to celebrate this important milestone. During the ceremony, the University of Ottawa and the Faculty of Arts conferred 573 bachelor degrees, 66 master degrees and 14 PhD. It is with great pleasure that the Faculty of Arts welcomes these students into the great big family of arts alumni. Congratulations to all!

Honorary Doctorate

Amin Maalouf - Facebook Live

Listen to Amin Maalouf's Speech (starts at 01:07:00)

Amin Maalouf

The honorary doctorate of the Faculty of Arts was awarded this year to the famous Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf as a recognition for his countless and major contributions to the world of literature.

Amin Maalouf was born in Lebanon in 1949, into a family of teachers. After studying economics and sociology he worked as a reporter, covering many events around the world, such as the fall of the Ethiopian monarchy in 1974 and the last battle of Saigon in 1975. In 1984, he devoted himself to writing and publishing novels, essays and opera librettos. In 2011, the author of The Rock of Tanios, winner of le Prix Goncourt, was elected to L’Académie francaise to sit in seat 29, replacing the late Claude Lévi-Strauss.

Class President

Abigail Roche - Facebook Live

Listen to Abigail Roche's Convocation Speech (starts at 00:44:00)

Abigail Roche

Class President for the Faculty of Arts spring 2019 convocation

The Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute is proud to learn that Abigail Roche has been selected as Class President for the Faculty of Arts spring 2019 convocation. Abigail has distinguished herself throughout her academic career at uOttawa, as shown by her many scholarships and awards, namely the CIBC Mentorship Scholarship. Abigail is a global citizen and loves to experience other cultures through travel to destinations such as France, where she did her summer exchange, as well as East Timor and Australia, where she volunteered for five months. In addition to Canada’s two official languages, she fluently speaks Spanish and has begun learning German. She believes that languages are essential to serving the community and helping others. Her openness, generosity and idealism shine through her volunteer engagement with Ottawa’s Inuit community.

What does the role of class president represent for you?

When I found out I was chosen to be class president, it reaffirmed to me that I am studying what I am meant to study. Having accomplished so much and been given this incredible opportunity makes me feel like I am on the right path. It’s also a great honour to represent the Faculty of Arts’ graduating class of 2019.

Did you go on exchange while pursuing your bachelor’s degree at uOttawa?

Yes, I went to Saint-Étienne, France, for a summer exchange in 2017. It gave me the opportunity to completely immerse myself in the French culture and develop my French language skills. Following this experience, I became an international uOCoach: a voluntary position that I held for about a year and half, during which I used my experiences to give advice to other students who were interested in going on an international exchange. I am truly thankful for the mobility scholarship that the university gave me to pursue this international opportunity.

What is your best memory from your exchange?

I’d say it was eating a baguette every day, which is certainly less expensive than in Canada! In fact, they have baguette vending machines. I also loved exploring France and some of its beautiful, historic castles!

You have done a lot of volunteering. What did you gain from that?

I have really learned what it is to serve a community and help others. Particularly, I have seen the difficulties that arise when you can’t communicate because of language barriers, which is what really led me to uOttawa to study languages. Consequently, I will be more capable of communicating in the future, which is crucial to reaching out to those who need it.

In which ways do you think the University of Ottawa prepared you for the future?

Not only did I learn a lot academically, but I also gained professional skills such as time management, effective reading, analytical skills and other important skills that have helped me to become an independent adult. The University has also afforded me great job opportunities. First, for one year, I was a mentor at the Faculty of Arts Mentoring Centre, where I helped other students acquire these skills as well. Then, through FSWEP (Federal Student Work Experience Program), I obtained a student position with the government as an editor, which turned into a permanent position. Had I not been a uOttawa student, I wouldn’t have had these professional experiences. Additionally, studying in a bilingual environment has been beneficial to my career. Its diverse and bilingual community has helped me continue to be inclusive and open-minded and practise my second language in a non-judgmental environment.

What does the future hold for you?

Big question! The government hired me for a full-time, permanent position as an editor and writer in French and English, and I love it so far! I will also be returning to uOttawa in the fall to begin a Master of Arts in Spanish. I think that if I’m doing what I love, even if it doesn’t fit the standards of a typical career path in the eyes of our society, it will open doors and make me happy. My biggest goal is to be able to use French, English, Spanish and German to help others internationally and continue to volunteer in Canada as well.

Convocation 2019 - Event in photos

Student and proud mother - Convocation 2019

Graduates surrounded by friends, family and the university community during the 2019 Convocation ceremony

Student preparing for the 2019 Convocation

Last minute preparations

Calin Rovinescu

Calin Rovinescu, Chancellor of the University of Ottawa

Jacques Frémont - President, University of Ottawa

Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, sharing an inspiring welcome speech 

Jacques Frémont - President, University of Ottawa

Jacques Frémont, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, encouraging graduates to always keep an open mind 

Kevin Kee - Dean, Faculty of Arts

Kevin Kee, Dean of the Faculty of Arts, introducing Abigail Roche, the Faculty of Arts 2019 Class President 

Abigail Roche, Class President - Convocation 2019

Abigail Roche, 2019 Class President, challenged her fellow graduates to never give up hope and never let anyone else dictate their future 

Amin Maalouf

Amin Maalouf received an Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Arts

Students - 2019 Convocation

Students listening to Abigail Roche, 2019 Class President, address her fellow graduates, friends, family and university community 

Students - 2019 Convocation

Students waiting patiently to walk across the stage 

Calin Rovinescu, Chancellor, Amin Maalouf, Honorary Doctorate, Abigail Roche, Class President, Jacques Frémont, President and Kevin Kee, Dean at the Faculty of Arts

(From left to right) Calin Rovinescu, Chancellor, Amin Maalouf, recipient of the honorary doctorate, Abigail Roche, Class President, Jacques Frémont, President and Kevin Kee, Dean of the Faculty of Arts

Proud Parents - Convocation 2019

Proud friends and family 

Student and proud mother - Convocation 2019

The attendance of friends and family made the Convocation ceremony special for all 

A view to the Parliament - Convocation 2019

The 2019 Convocation took place at the Shaw Centre near Parliament Hill in Ottawa

Convocation 2019 - Flowers

Flowers for our graduating students

Students - 2019 Convocation

All smiles during the Convocation

Student - 2019 Convocation

Even the teddy bear was present!

Students - 2019 Convocation

Different shades of yellow, same smile!

Family - 2019 Convocation

Bright colors, bright day!

Family - 2019 Convocation

Convocation: generations' reunion

Family - 2019 Convocation

Rideau Canal: an incredible spot for pictures!

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