Fall 2021 convocation: The last online ceremony?


The University of Waterloo’s spring 2022 convocation is expected to finally take place in-person, after two years of virtual ceremonies due to the pandemic.

According to Kelly McManus, senior director of community relations & events, UW is planning to proceed with an in-person convocation for the spring, COVID-19 restrictions pending.

“We have every plan to proceed with in-person ceremonies again in spring of 2022…of course we are always monitoring public health guidelines, but I think everybody has their fingers crossed that we will be in that position by the spring,” McManus said. 

On Oct. 22 and 23, UW held a virtual fall 2021 convocation ceremony. However, the university said it plans to welcome any students that would like to participate in an in-person convocation when they are possible again.

“We have said throughout the pandemic anyone that misses their in person convocation would be welcome to come in person when it is safe to do so…we know there are obviously more graduates then normal who have been impacted by the pandemic so we are in discussion on creating special celebrations for the class of 2020 and 2021,” McManus said. 

Plenty of staff, professors, and volunteers are needed to facilitate a live convocation; thus, UW has already started planning for June 2022. 

“We know that convocation going forward will have different elements just like every in person event; like handshakes…are people going to handshake anymore…we are looking at all those elements again, our focus is that convocation is a special experience for students.”

McManus also explained an expected modification to be in place for the spring will be a ticketing system and limit to the amount of guests each student can bring. While the number of students wanting to return is unknown, McManus assures that UW will accommodate everyone that wants an in-person convocation experience.