Trent University Celebrates 44th Convocation


1699 graduates to be honoured in five ceremonies over three days, June 1, 2 and 3, 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011, Peterborough

Convocation Highlights:

  • 44th Convocation
  • 1,616 undergraduate degrees to be granted (including 4 diplomas)
  • 87 graduate degrees – 11 Ph.D.s and 76 Masters’ degrees
  • Five distinguished Canadians to receive Honorary Degrees

During its 44th Convocation, Trent University will honour 1,699 members of the 2011 graduating class, over the course of five ceremonies on Wednesday, June 1; Thursday, June 2; and Friday, June 3 on Symons campus.

Dr. Steven E. Franklin, Trent’s seventh president and vice-chancellor, and Dr. Tom Jackson, the University’s tenth chancellor, will preside over the Convocation ceremonies.

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 in the University Court of the Bata Library on the Symons Campus. Over 100 volunteers, mostly University employees and retirees, will be lending a hand at this year’s Convocation ceremonies.

Graduating in 2011 are 1,612 undergraduate, four diploma and 87 graduate students. 11 Ph.D.s and 76 masters’ degrees – 43 in the arts and 33 in the sciences – will be granted.

Also during 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. The President’s Medal will be awarded to three outstanding graduate students. 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, 59 per cent of graduates are female and 41 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, 20 per cent of all graduates are on the president’s honour roll.  

A detailed breakdown of each convocation ceremony is as follows:

On Wednesday, June 1 at 10 a.m. degrees will be conferred on all graduates in the following programs: Ancient History & Classics, Canadian Studies, Cultural Studies, English Literature, History, Indigenous Studies, and Indigenous Environmental Studies. Students receiving a Diploma in Foundations in Indigenous Learning will also be honoured. An honorary degree will be conferred upon the Mr. Rick Beaver, who will address convocation. Also at this ceremony, Professor Gordon Johnston will be presented with the Eminent Service Award & Professor Emeritus.

On Wednesday, June 1 at 3 p.m., Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Arts, Master of Science,
Forensic Science, Business Administration, Joint-Major Degrees with Business Administration, Joint-Major Degrees with Forensic Science will be conferred. All graduates of Trent University Oshawa Thornton Road Campus programs will also be recognized. An honorary degree will be conferred upon Sandra Laronde, who will address convocation. Ms. Winnie Janzen will be presented with an Eminent Service Award.

On Thursday, June 2 at 10 a.m. Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees will be conferred upon graduates in the following programs: Anthropology; Ecological Restoration;
Economics; Environmental and Resource Science/Studies; Geography; Globalization: Communities and Identities; International Development Studies; International Political Economy; Modern Languages and Literatures: French, German & Hispanic Studies; Philosophy; Politics; Sociology and Women’s Studies. An honorary degree will be conferred upon The Right Honourable Kim Campbell, who will address convocation. Also at this ceremony, Professor Stephen Hill will be presented with the Symons Award for Excellence in Teaching. Professors Emeriti Roy Hagman and John Topic will also be recognized.

On Thursday, June 2 at 3 p.m. Degrees will be conferred on all graduates in the following programs: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Biology; Chemistry; Chemical Physics; Computer Science/Studies; Computing and Information Systems; Computing Systems and Physics; Environmental Chemistry; Mathematics; Mathematical Computer Science; Mathematical Economics; Mathematical Physics; Physics & Astronomy; and Psychology. An honorary degree will be conferred upon Ms. Lauren Woolstencroft, who will address convocation. An Eminent Service award will be presented to Mr. Tony Storey and Professor Emeritus Al Slavin will be recognized.

On Friday, June 3 at 10 a.m. Degrees will be conferred upon graduates from the Trent-Fleming School of Nursing and the School of Education and Professional Learning. An honorary degree will be conferred upon Mr. Craig Kielburger, who will address convocation. Ms. Kate Ramsay will be presented with an Eminent Service Award and Dr. Bryan Palmer will be presented with a Distinguished Research Award.

Green Initiatives

For the third year, several green initiatives designed to reduce the event’s impact on the environment will be part of Trent’s Convocation ceremonies, including:

Water Bottle-Free Convocation
By eliminating the use of commercial bottled water at the ceremonies, Trent will reduce the negative environmental and social impacts of 5,000 single-use water bottles, which have been consumed at previous ceremonies. In lieu of bottled water, the University will set up a water station at an Information Table to provide tap water in recyclable or biodegradable cups to all guests of Convocation. Graduates will each receive a take-home gift of a stainless steel water bottle which will be filled with tap water for their use during the outdoor ceremonies.

Free Passes for Peterborough Transit
In addition to the bottle-water free initiative, graduates and their families are being actively encouraged to reduce emissions by travelling, free of charge, on Peterborough Transit to and from the ceremonies. This option will also benefit guests by alleviating parking concerns on campus.


Media are invited and encouraged to attend convocation. Media covering convocation will be provided with an official media tag allowing them into limited access points. Passes will be available at the information booth located on the upper podium on the west side of the Faryon Bridge at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 1.

For official comments and more information on convocation details, please contact:
Grant Kerr, acting registrar, (705) 748-1011 x7356

For more information on convocation logistics and media support, please contact:
Marilyn Burns, director, Marketing & Communications, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6182

For further information on the 2011 Convocation ceremonies, including details about the honorary graduands, visit