Distinctive grad occasion deliberate for U of Guelph alumni who missed out as a consequence of COVID

University of Guelph grads who missed out on traditional graduation ceremonies in 2020 and 2021 are getting a chance to take part in a unique celebration in 2022.

“The event is going to be really special and pretty unique among universities in Ontario,” U of G associate director of ceremonies and events Claire Alexander said in a news release.

“We are really excited to be able to bring our grads back together for one last celebration of all they accomplished during their time at U of G.”

The #GradGala event has been planned for students who didn’t get to cross the stage at an in-person convocation ceremony due to COVID-19. It will take place on June 23, one week after the convocation for the class of 2022.

On that day, 2020 and 2021 alumni will get to attend their own in-person ceremony, as well as the #GradGala event that will feature themed locations throughout the University Centre, where graduates can celebrate with their friends.

A piano lounge in the UC courtyard will feature karaoke with duelling pianos; Peter Clark Hall will become a “barn” for one last Aggie pub, complete with line dancing and mechanical bull; the Brass Taps will host a marathon trivia night; and there will be a photo booth and more.

“We can’t give graduates back their time together that was ended so abruptly by the pandemic, but we can help recreate some of those memorable times spent with friends and classmates on campus,” said Alexander.

The event will be held the night before Alumni Weekend begins, and any alumni, including 2022 alumni who graduated the week before, can buy tickets. For those who want to spend a little longer on campus, alumni can even book a night in residence.

Those who can’t attend the convocation ceremonies can still choose to attend the gala, and can get the red carpet experience in the Gryphon Fieldhouse on June 25 during Alumni Weekend, when they will be able to take photos with a variety of U of G backdrops.

Those unable to attend events in June can return Oct. 10 for one of several fall convocation ceremonies.



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