Spring Convocation – Celebrating 100 Years, 1912-2011

It was May 1, 1912 when the University of Saskatchewan held its first convocation ceremony. In the auditorium of what was then called the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute and is now Nutana Collegiate, seven graduands wound their way to the platform to receive their BA degrees before an audience of students, family, faculty, members of Senate and the Board of Governors as well as a contingent of the general public, curious to see what this ceremony entailed.

On May 31, June 1 and June 2, about 3,000 students will cross the stage in TCU Place to receive their degrees in the 100th spring convocation at the University of Saskatchewan.

Convocation Pledge from 1912

The word convocation is from the Latin cum meaning together, and vocare meaning to call, with the convocation ceremony symbolizing the practice of calling together all graduates who have made the transition from student to degree holder with all of the accompanying rights and privileges. There are three parts to the ceremony: the process marking the change of status from student to graduate; the president's statement, secretary's petition and chancellor's consent for admission to convocation; and the presentation of degrees and admission by the chancellor to that degree.

As the University of Saskatchewan has grown, so has its convocation ceremony. Only one ceremony was held at the Saskatoon Collegiate Institute before it moved to Convocation Hall in the newly constructed College Building on campus. In 1931, convocation moved to Third Avenue United Church, then back to campus, to the gymnasium in the new Physical Education Building, in 1950. With the exception of a few special ceremonies, convocation has been held at TCU Place (formerly the Centennial Auditorium) since 1968.

Over its history, the U of S has also awarded more than 400 honorary degrees, the highest honour it can bestow. These degrees recognize individuals for their outstanding contributions to scholarship, education, the arts or public service, or to the local, Canadian or global public good.








(With thanks to Student and Enrolment Services Division and University Archives)

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