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A photo of the Convocation stage in the Investors group athletic center, at the Fort Garry Campus.

An empty auditorim awaiting convocation ceremonies prior to COVID-19, a virus that has forced us to pause and re-evaluate virtually everything. But now, the President tells the Class of 2021, we are poised to emerge into something new—something unknown: a world they will shape.

President’s address to Class of 2021

June 15, 2021 — 

Congratulations class of 2021.

Michael Benarroch

President Michael Benarroch

You are among UM’s most distinct graduating classes.

Never before has a class graduated from our University having completed most of their entire final year in a virtual format.

You have faced challenges that none of us had ever envisioned.

In spite of this, you persevered through your final year amid upheaval in every aspect of your life.

Who would blame you if you saw all of this as a setback? Yet by choosing not to allow the pandemic to slow you down, you have inspired those around you, perhaps more than you know. We know this wasn’t easy.

So many of you have demonstrated leadership beyond the classroom: you’ve stepped up to help solve community challenges and used your voices to influence government decisions and policy.

Every graduating class is told they have the opportunity to lead our society forward, but this has never been truer than it is for you.

This pandemic made us pause and re-evaluate virtually everything.

And now we are poised to emerge into something new—something unknown.

The world as we know it is changing before our very eyes and you have an opportunity to shape this new world with your sense of global justice, your ideas and passions.

If this year has taught us anything, it is the power of personal and social responsibility. We are an interconnected world and have a responsibility to care for each other.

Thank you for your unmatched resilience. Thank you for all you will do going forward.

Remember that your University is always here for you as you go forward to help shape a better world.

We are so proud of you.

Michael Benarroch

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