We recently celebrated the graduates of the Class of 2022 at our Spring Convocation ceremonies. Over the course of three days, more than two thousand MacEwan students received their parchments and officially became alumni.

And this year, they also received something else to commemorate their graduation – a commissioned art print created by a fellow student.

The artwork was presented as a gift from MacEwan University’s Alumni Association, and the gesture will become a tradition. “The class gift is intended to be a meaningful keepsake that graduates will cherish and will remind them of their time at MacEwan,” says Michelle Stevenson, director, Alumni. “This is also an excellent opportunity to showcase the exceptional talent of our students to their peers and the larger MacEwan alumni community.”

The first two artworks – one for Spring Convocation and one for Fall Convocation – were selected by a panel this spring. The spring artwork (below), entitled Reflections, was created by Kelsey Calder, Studio Arts ’22. The striking image of the university’s clock tower was created using acrylic paint over a background of excerpts from The Griff, MacEwan’s student newspaper. “I wanted to create a collective memory of MacEwan, something that all students could relate to,” says Calder. “The clock tower is really iconic, and people use it as a landmark or wayfinding piece – it’s the centre of MacEwan. And I used pieces of The Griff because it reflects the student voice.”

An Image of "Reflections," a painting of the MacEwan University clocktowers set against a background of newspaper excerpts, with a wreath of pink wild roses along the outer edge.

The Spring 2022 alumni gift: "Reflections" by Kelsey Calder, Studio Arts '22.

The artwork for Fall Convocation was created by Suzuanne Burwash, a second-year Bachelor of Design student. Details on that piece will be kept under wraps until it’s unveiled as part of the November convocation proceedings.

Though Burwash will have to wait a few months to share her work with the Fall Class of 2022, she already sees it as a connection point between herself and her fellow students. “I’m pursuing dreams and new experiences, and I hope students who receive this piece experience similar feelings,” she says. “And not only in the first instance they see the image – I hope they can come back to it throughout their life when they need to feel inspired, because life is full of ups and downs.”

For Stevenson, the gift symbolizes the past connection that alumni have to the university – and continuing that relationship for years to come. “We hope it will remind our alumni that they will always have a connection to MacEwan. They are always welcome here, no matter where life takes them.”

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