Trent University Celebrates 42nd Convocation June 3, 4 and 5


1,771 Graduates to be Honoured in Five Ceremonies Over Three Days, including Largest-Ever Class of Graduate Students

Monday, June 1, 2009, Peterborough

Convocation Highlights:

  • 42nd Convocation
  • 1,695 undergraduate degrees to be granted (including 10 diplomas)
  • 76 graduate degrees – 16 Ph.D.s and 60 Masters degrees
  • Five distinguished Canadians to receive Honorary Degrees
  • First graduates of the English M.A. (Public Texts) and History M.A. programs

During its 42nd convocation, Trent University will honour 1,774 members of the graduating class of 2009 over the course of five ceremonies on Wednesday, June 3, Thursday, June 4 and Friday, June 5.

Among this year’s undergraduate and graduate students receiving degrees and diplomas at the ceremonies is the largest class of graduate students in the University’s history and the very first graduates of the new English M.A. (Public Texts) and the History M.A. programs.

Two ceremonies will be held on Wednesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. On Friday, one ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. All ceremonies take place outdoors on the podium of the Bata Library on the Symons Campus. Over 100 volunteers, mostly University employees, will be lending a hand at this year’s convocation ceremonies.

Over the five ceremonies, degrees will be presented to 1,685 undergraduate, ten diploma and 76 graduate students. Sixteen Ph.D.s and 60 Masters degrees – 28 in the arts and 32 in the sciences – will be granted, the largest class of graduate students in Trent’s history.

Also at the ceremonies, the Governor General’s Gold Medal will be presented to the graduate student with the highest standing and the Silver Medal will be presented to the undergraduate student with the highest standing. In addition, four Symons Medals and two Bagnani Medals will be presented to undergraduate students who have achieved high academic standing in their programs. This year also marks the first time that outstanding graduate students will be recognized with a new award – the President’s Medal.

Dr. Roberta Bondar, Trent University’s ninth chancellor, will preside over her seventh and final convocation; she was installed as chancellor in 2003 and will complete her second term on June 30, 2009. The ceremonies are also the last for president and vice-chancellor Bonnie Patterson, whose second term also ends on June 30, 2009. During the ceremonies, five distinguished Canadians will receive honorary degrees.

Statistics from the Office of the Registrar for undergraduate studies show that 68 per cent of graduates are female, while 32 per cent are male. At the graduate level, 67 per cent of graduates are female and 33 per cent are male.

All undergraduate students graduating with a cumulative average of at least 80 per cent are named to the President’s Honour Roll. This year, 23 per cent of all graduates are on the President’s Honour Roll (up from 22 per cent last year).  

A detailed breakdown of each convocation ceremony is as follows:

On June 3 at 10 a.m., Degrees will be conferred on all graduates in the following programs: Ancient Greek & Roman Studies, Canadian Studies, Cultural Studies, English Literature, Greek & Latin Language & Literature, and History. Students receiving a Diploma in Canadian Studies will also be honoured. An honorary degree will be conferred upon Maude Barlow, who will address convocation. Also at this ceremony, Professor Molly Blyth will be presented with the Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professors Emeriti Sean Cane and Orm Mitchell will also be recognized, along with University Archivist Emeritus Dr. Bernadine Dodge.

On June 3 at 3 p.m., Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees will be conferred upon graduates in the following programs: Biology, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Chemistry, Chemical Physics, Computing & Information Systems, Computing Systems & Physics, Environmental Chemistry, Forensic Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology. An honorary degree will be conferred upon Sarah Polley, who will address convocation. The Eminent Service Award will be presented to Jalynn Bennett.  Professor Emeriti Michael Berrill will also be honoured.

On June 4 at 10 a.m., Bachelor of Arts and Science degrees for graduates in Anthropology, Economics, Environmental and Resource Science/Studies, Geography, Globalization: Communities and Identities, Global Studies, Indigenous/Native Studies, International Development Studies, International Political Economy, Modern Languages & Literature: French, German & Hispanic Studies, Philosophy, Politics, Sociology and Women’s Studies, will be conferred. Diplomas in Indigenous Environmental Studies, Indigenous Management & Economic Development, Foundations of Indigenous Learning, Kanyen’Keha (Mohawk) Language will also be granted. An honorary degree will be conferred upon The Honourable Iona Campagnolo, who will address convocation, and Professors Emeriti Christopher Huxley and Bernard Hodgson (posthumously) will also be recognized.

On June 4 at 3 p.m., Doctoral and Masters degrees will be conferred upon graduates, as well as Bachelor of Business Administration. All graduates of Trent University in Oshawa programs will also be recognized. An honorary degree will be conferred upon Thomas Porter, who will address convocation, and the Distinguished Research Award will be presented to Professor Stephen Katz. Eminent Service Award recipient Joyce Sutton will also be honoured, along with Librarian Emeritus Murray Genoe.

On June 5 at 10 a.m., Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees will be conferred. An honorary degree will be conferred in absentia upon Mary Pratt and the Eminent Service Award will be presented to Shirley Rolufs.


Media are invited and encouraged to attend convocation.

PLEASE NOTE: Media covering convocation will be provided with an official media tag allowing them into limited access points. Passes are available at the Marketing & Communications Office, lower level, Bata Library, and will be handed out at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 3.

For official comments and more information on convocation details, please contact:
Meri Kim Oliver, Associate Vice-President, Student Services, (705) 748-1011 ext. 7122

For more information on convocation logistics and media support, please contact:
Marilyn Burns, Director, Marketing & Communications, (705) 748-1011 ext. 6184

For further information on the 2009 Convocation ceremonies, including details about the honorary graduands and to view profiles of outstanding graduating students, visit