Convocation was always my favourite time of year! I organized or assisted with 125 convocation ceremonies during my time at MacEwan, and I, along with my staff, believed it was important to volunteer during the ceremonies. It helped us all to remember the reason why we were there – the students. There was just nothing that could compare to seeing graduates cross the stage and knowing that in some way, we had all contributed to changing their lives.

During my time at MacEwan, I was part of three presidential searches and several vice-president searches. I prepared nomination packages and organized naming ceremonies for university spaces, including the Gerry Kelly Aquatic Centre, Paul Byrne Hall, the John L. Haar Library, David Atkinson Gymnasium, Heather MacEwan Foran Memorial Garden and the Terry Flannigan Student Centre. And I got to help create many new traditions, including the university’s coat of arms, mace, mace stand, mace bearer, regalia, ceremonial chairs, invocation and motto. I remember brainstorming for the motto – there was a group of us in a room and we had all of these words up on the wall. As I was looking at them, it came to me: Through learning we flourish. I think it truly speaks to what MacEwan does for individuals and our community.

Traditions and ceremonies are important, but they are important because of people. When you have a plaque or a mace or any other symbol, it’s not really about the symbol, it’s about recognizing the people who have contributed to building the institution, the impact they made and the connections they shared – it’s about the people who shaped MacEwan’s culture. 

That’s why creating a retiree group for MacEwan has been so special and close to my heart. It’s something I wanted to do for a very long time, but there were always roadblocks. Then all of sudden, through a whole series of circumstances, everything came together and it happened. Being able to build and rebuild relationships between the institution and the people who have contributed to it, and setting up and supporting that group brings me such joy. The Retirees of MacEwan University (ROMU) has 276 members now. It’s a little community unto itself. 

– Margo Baptista

Margo BaptistaMargo Baptista started working at MacEwan in June 1989 as the administrative assistant to the president and executive secretary to the Board of Governors. She held the position (with several title changes) until March 2019 when she retired as University Secretary. Today, she is an active member of ROMU. Read or listen to Margo’s contribution to the Grant MacEwan Community College Oral History Project.


Watch the Fall 2021 Convocation ceremonies
See the livestream and videos of past ceremonies.
convocation WATCH

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