Honouring the success of U of M students
Be part of the celebration as a volunteer
Fall Convocation is swiftly approaching and staff can get a firsthand perspective into the celebration by volunteering at it.
Volunteer roles include greeters at the doors who hand out programs and help people find their way to their seats, and ushers who also help people find a seat and act as safety representatives.
Staff members who have previously volunteered shared their views with UM Today.
“I love to do the ushering and help people that have mobility issues or just need a little hand,” said staff member Dianne Bulback. “For me, it’s talking to them and hearing, especially from the grandparents, how excited they are that their grandchild is graduating or might be the first in the family to go to university.”
This year, Fall Convocation runs from Oct. 18 – 20 and volunteers have the opportunity to share the enthusiasm.
“It’s a fun thing to do, particularly if students from your own faculty are convocating during your volunteer shift. I too get to experience the excitement and pride the family and friends have when seeing their loved one cross the stage,” said Chris Cowan, another volunteer.
Who can help? Any U of M staff or faculty member.
When? Oct. 18, 19 and 20 (one ceremony per day in the afternoon) visit Convocation Dates & Times for specific ceremony information.
For how long? Shifts begin at 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon shifts and are 4-5 hours long. Accommodations are possible for those who cannot attend for the full shift length.
Do I have to take time off? Participation in Convocation is paid work**, but you should discuss your plans to be away from your office with your supervisor
**Please inform the Registrar’s Office of any concerns regarding overtime payment.
Find out more about usher responsibilities at Convocation Ushers.
Staff members said volunteering gives a sense of the lasting significance of Fall Convocation.
“To me, Convocation is important as the celebration of the achievement of our students, some of which I have worked with throughout their university degrees. It is important to me to see them obtain recognition for their hard work and the completion of their degree programs,” said Cecile Foster, who has been volunteering for five years and normally acts as a greeter.
“I always leave Convocation with a sense of pride in the university, a renewed sense of inspiration for my work, and a sense of the bigger picture of what we are all here working for, after all. I enjoy working at convocation!” said Foster.