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  • RMC’s 122nd Convocation “A Celebration of Perseverance, Discipline, and Inspiration” / La 122e collation des grades du CMR est « une célébration de persévérance, de discipline et d’inspiration »

RMC’s 122nd Convocation “A Celebration of Perseverance, Discipline, and Inspiration” / La 122e collation des grades du CMR est « une célébration de persévérance, de discipline et d’inspiration »

Courtesy of RMC Public Affairs / Avec l’aimable autorisation des Affaires publiques du CMR

(Friday, November 19, 2021) “In 1959, the Province of Ontario empowered [the Royal Military College of Canada] to grant diplomas, certificates, and awards. Through the Royal Military College of Canada Degrees Act, our Senate is permitted to grant degrees – at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels, and honorary degrees, in arts, science, and engineering. Today’s convocation is the 122nd for the College. This is no small feat and it speaks to the legacy that RMC is leaving to Canada and Canadians through the thousands of graduates who came to study here and who are now dispersed throughout the Canadian Armed Forces, in communities from coast, to coast, to coast, and even elsewhere in the world.” – Commodore Josée Kurtz, Commandant RMC

Today RMC had its 122nd Convocation. For many this is the culmination of their graduate studies, for some their time as an undergraduate, but for all this is a celebration of their perseverance, discipline, and inspiration to realize this achievement. 10 undergraduate degrees and 35 Masters degrees were conferred today highlighting distinction for the graduates, and the privilege of RMC to be able to inspire and educate military members in their continuing studies and civilians who attend RMC for graduate studies knowing it is a world class institution.

Please enjoy the following message from The Honourable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence, President and Chancellor of RMC, which congratulates today’s graduates.

(vendredi 19 novembre 2021) « En 1959, la province de l’Ontario a accordé [au Collège militaire royal du Canada] le pouvoir de décerner des diplômes, des certificats et des prix. Grâce à la Loi sur les grades du Collège militaire royal du Canada, notre Sénat a le droit de décerner des diplômes – du premier cycle, des cycles supérieurs et honorifiques, en lettres, en sciences et en génie. La cérémonie de collation des grades d’aujourd’hui est la 122e du Collège. C’est tout un exploit, tout un patrimoine que le CMR a légué au Canada et aux Canadiens et Canadiennes à travers les milliers de diplômés qui sont venus faire leurs études ici et sont maintenant dispersés à travers les Forces armées canadiennes, dans des communautés éparpillées d’un océan à l’autre, et même ailleurs dans le monde. » – Commodore Josée Kurtz, commandant du CMR

Aujourd’hui, le CMR a eu sa 122e collation des grades. Pour beaucoup, c’est l’aboutissement de leurs études supérieures, pour certains, la fin de leur parcours du premier cycle, mais pour tous, la célébration de leur persévérance, de leur discipline et de leur inspiration à accomplir cette réalisation. 10 diplômes du premier cycle et 35 maîtrises ont été conférés aujourd’hui, témoignage de distinction pour les diplômés, et de privilège pour le CMR –privilège d’avoir pu inspirer et instruire les militaires dans leur apprentissage continu, et les civils qui ont choisi de faire leurs études supérieures au CMR en raison de sa réputation d’établissement de calibre mondial.

Veuillez apprécier le message suivant de L’honorable Anita Anand, ministre de la Défense nationale, présidente et chancelière du CMR, qui félicite les diplômés d’aujourd’hui.

For the full Convocation Programme please see here: / Pour le programme complet de la collation des grades, veuillez consulter ici : November 2021 programme final

Royal Military College of Canada / Collège militaire royale du Canada

Principal’s Convocation Speech / Élocution du recteur pour la Collation des grades

Dr H.J. Kowal – 19 November/novembre 2021

Good afternoon everyone; bon après-midi tout le monde.

Thank you Commodore Kurtz for those opening remarks et merci pour les commentaires très gentilles.  I would like to begin by thanking you for your leadership as RMC’s Commandant and Vice-Chancellor and I echo your warm words of welcome to Minister Anand as RMC’s President and Chancellor.    Minister Anand, Commodore Kurtz, members of the RMC Senate, all who are present today and all who are joining us from a distance and most importantly the graduating Class of 2021, a heartfelt welcome to the 122th convocation ceremony of the Royal Military College of Canada.  Je vous souhaite une bienvenue chaleureuse au collège militaire royal du Canada et le 122ieme Collation de Grades.

Today’s ceremony is an important milestone for RMC because it is the first in-person convocation since the start of the pandemic in Spring 2020.  And so for all of you who could be here in person, it is so great to have you back.

For those who are here for the first time, welcome to Currie Hall; bienvenue à la salle Currie; my favorite venue.  It was built in 1921 and named after Sir Arthur Currie and is a tribute to the Canadian contribution of the 1st World War.  La Salle Currie est un endroit qui a inspiré de nombreuses personnes et il le fait encore aujourd’hui, la reconnaissance de ceux et celles qui ont travaillé forte et qui sont méritoires.

Before I move on, I would like to highlight the refurbishment of Currie Hall that has taken place over the last three years.  The repair and restoration before this took place over 30 years ago.  Since then, time had taken its toll on Currie Hall from moisture leaking from the roof and high humidity, smoking, which was permitted in Currie Hall until 2006.  All of this had an impact on the fading of the interior, especially along the walls and ceiling of the balcony.  The latest refurbishment was carried out by Alex Gabov of Conservation of Sculptures, Monuments and Objects, Kingston (CSMO) and the cost was over $300,000, which was shared equally by the RMC classes of 1959 and 1972.  So I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the fine work by Alex and the generous contributions from the RMC Classes of 1959 and 1972.  Well Done!  Aplause!

Grace à vous tous, pendant la cérémonie aujourd’hui, on va conférer des diplômes de premier cycle et des études supérieurs, dans les arts, de sciences et du génie.  On va également présenter des prix et récompenses.

To our graduates / nos diplômés

University education can be challenging at the best of times, but when you look back over that last few years, you have certainly had more than your fair share of adversity.  I would hazard a guess that for most of you, when you were embarking on this part of your lives, taking your university courses remotely and for some of you from your parents basements was the furthest from your imagination.  COVID changed all of that and time and time again put one roadblock after another in front of you, making your journey through graduate and undergraduate education extra difficult but unique.

My wife is a nurse and she rates things on a scale of 0-10.  From a difficulty perspective, I puts yours at an 11, but it was probably even higher that that.  And so, I offer you my heartfelt congratulations and my utmost respect for succeeding under such difficult circumstances.

The uniqueness of your experience is a bit more complicated to describe.  The pandemic has been life-altering, forcing us all outside of our comfort zones; we have had to figure out different ways of doing things, different ways of learning, looking at problems and finding solutions.  There have also been many life lessons.  How many times over zoom have you heard, “Can you hear me; you are on mute, can you hear me now; you are still on mute; can you see my presentation; you are still on mute.”  It is probably funny now, but this is just one example of the bizarre challenges we all have faced in just communicating.  So many things have been out of our control that we have had to deal with.  In the process, I think we found more inner strength than we thought we had; I think we have learned to be more patient; that we are all human and that nobody’s perfect. More importantly I think we have learned is that how we treat each other is what really matters.

How we treat each other defines us on a human level and so I ask you today to take some time to reflect on your university experience and all the lessons you learned dealing with every aspect of the pandemic.  Given this moment in time is a recognition that you have the knowledge to succeed and the ability to persevere, I ask you to reflect on what you can do with these super powers to contribute positively to those around you so that we all can be part of building a better tomorrow.

When you look for role models, look no further than the people around you.  Remember, the pandemic has forced everyone through difficult times and yet how inspiring has it been to see it time and time again, the incredible impact that is made from those around us, those offering a helping hand, those reaching out with kindness and understanding.

And so with this in mind I echo the words of thanks from Commodore Kurtz and recognize family and friends, faculty and staff for making a positive difference in your lives. Rien que nous faisons, nous le faisons seuls, un grand merci pour le soutien que vous avez donné à nos diplômés ; c’est bien apprécié ! And I believe it appropriate for a round of applause.

When we finally emerge from the pandemic, there is no doubt that we will continue to learn new things and face new challenges.  Please keep in mind the positive impact you can make in the lives of others.  Take what you have learned throughout your studies and commit to being a better you.  If we do this as individuals, we will persevere as a community and as a nation.  This is a commitment that we all need to keep our future bright.

Comme plusieurs d’entre vous sont en uniforme, je comprends bien que vous avez complété vos études tout en continuant de servir le Canada.  J’aimerais donc profiter de cette occasion pour vous remercier pour le service que vous faites pour notre pays.  Thank you for your service…

En terminant, j’aimerais remercier Dr Sylvain Leblanc pour son rôle comme maitre de cérémonie.  And a huge thanks to our Public Affairs personnel in recording the ceremony (video and photo).

Finalement, une grand merci aussi à notre secrétaire général, Karl Michaud, et son bureau ainsi que tout le monde qui ont participé dans cette cérémonie.

Thank you all!

We are immensely proud of what we do here at the Royal Military College of Canada and we are extremely proud of all our graduates.  Nous sommes fiers de vous.  I wish you all the best of continued success and a very bright future!

Thank you et merci beaucoup!

One Comment

  • Helga Rausch

    December 1, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    The Minister’s expectations are clear. Get out there and make it better. I have a lot of confidence in today’s RMC grads to rise to the challenge. BZ.