It’s tradition at Lady Eaton College (LEC) to gather affiliated graduating students each spring for an intimate reception to honour their achievements. Usually there is cake, a slideshow, a toast from the Principal, and students don green gowns and take pictures with their friends in their favourite spots around the college.
This year an in-person event was out of the question, but LEC principal Christine Freeman-Roth knew it was worth taking things online. Together with the College staff and student ambassadors, the first Virtual Graduate Reception was held.
This Thursday, over 30 LEC students, family members, and fellows joined together for a one-hour ceremony that feature speeches, games, and storytelling.
LEC student ambassador Marissa Pucci was the master of ceremonies and led participants through a game of “This or That?” with a show of hands indicating whether students prefer the East Bank or West Bank, or, the Junior Common Room or The Pit.
Special remarks were made by Trent University chancellor Stephen Stohn, LEC academic advisor Melanie Sedge, LEC Academic Skills instructor Dana Capell, and outgoing LEC deputy prime minster and graduate Gytha Chapman. The students were then invited to share a favourite memory of their time at the College.
“Memories from our scarving ceremony and move-in day were popular, and we also heard from our students how meaningful our music program and welcoming atmosphere is to them,” said Dr. Freeman-Roth. “Lady Eaton College’s community and its ambience are hard to put into words, but our virtual reception was emblematic of what makes LEC so special – mainly it’s bright, caring, and connected student, faculty and staff members, and how they interact with one another with such respect and compassion.”
Family members and supporters even brought hand-crafted signs congratulating their graduates, holding them up proudly on the screen for all to see. Being able to participate from different geographic locations made the virtual reception more accessible for people who otherwise would not be able to attend.
“Many students will graduate this year in Canada and around the world, but you are special because you have been, are, and will remain forever an integral part of the Trent community,” Mr. Stohn said to the graduates. “And as such, you embody the adaptability, flexibility, curiosity, openness and compassion that Trent and its multi-disciplinary and college-based system engenders in all of us, making you especially prepared for the world that lies ahead.”
Learn more about Lady Eaton College, one of Trent’s five colleges.