St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology will have the largest group of students in its history graduating over six sessions during the school’s 52nd annual convocation, which will be held for the first time off campus.
More than 5,800 students will be graduating over six sessions in Windsor and in Chatham. The Windsor sessions have moved to the 6,500-seat WFCU Centre to accommodate the record number of students and their guests.
“The record student enrolment increases we’ve enjoyed during the past several years have now led, naturally, to a record number of graduates,” St. Clair College President Patti France said.
The Zekelman School of Business and Information Technology will have the largest group, with nearly 2,400 graduates taking the stage.
“We’ve never had this many graduates, ever,” said St. Clair College Registrar Michael Silvaggi. “It’s an increase of over 2,000” overall.
The first session begins at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday for students in Community Studies, Health Sciences and Nursing.
The second session begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for students in Engineering Technologies, Skilled Trades and Media, Art and Design.
The third and fourth sessions, for all of the students in the Zekelman School of Business and Information Technology, will be held Wednesday, at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., for students in the business programs.
Sessions five and six will be held at the Chatham campus HealthPlex on Friday. Session five will be held at 10:30 a.m. for graduating students from the Chatham Campus and session six will be at 2 p.m. for students from the Ace Acumen campus in Toronto.
The Chrysler Theatre in the Centre for the Arts has been the setting for convocation ceremonies in previous years, but the downtown venue was “getting a little cozy,” France said, even before this year’s growth in student numbers.
“We were having to accommodate overflow guests by setting up satellite seating throughout the Centre and remote-broadcasting the ceremonies on TVs,” she said.
“We’re very thankful that our community partner, the WFCU Centre, enables us to welcome everyone - grads, family and friends - under one roof.”
France said convocation is very much a parental moment for all of the faculty, staff and administrators at the College. “We’ve recognized their dreams, helped them work towards their goals, and, now we celebrate their accomplishments. It’s a somewhat bittersweet event: We’re sad to bid them farewell, but thrilled to know that we’ve set them on the path to successful careers as the newest additions to our 110,000-member alumni family.”