Ceremony in Toronto for Loyola, SGW graduates

Barbara Black

Roughly 450 alumni and friends attended the commemorative convocation in Toronto’s elegant Winter Garden Theatre on Nov. 17.

Photo by Mimi Zhou

The stately Winter Garden Theatre in downtown Toronto was the scene of another commemorative graduation on Nov. 17, as almost 300 Loyola and Sir George Williams alumni got a certificate from Concordia.

It was the fourth in a popular series of ceremonies in which pre-1974 graduates of the two founding institutions got formal confirmation of their inclusion in the Concordia family. Last March, there was a ceremony in the Loyola Chapel; spring and fall ceremonies were held for Sir George grads at Place des Arts.

Laura Stanbra, Director of Alumni Relations and Development, said Toronto has the largest contingent of graduates outside of Montreal. Interest in the ceremonies has been enthusiastic. Even if invitees can’t attend, they may ask for their certificate to be mailed to them.
At the Toronto ceremony, the graduates were addressed by Chancellor Eric Molson and Provost Martin Singer, who was able to provide some amusing reminiscences.

Vice-President, Advancement and Alumni Relations, Kathy Assayag said, “Although it’s been many years since you’ve been students here, you can still play a vital role in the Concordia of today.

“Universities draw their strength largely from the support of their graduates and friends. You are our best ambassadors: you help in recruiting new students, you hire our graduates, you cheer on our athletic teams, and you enrich the larger Concordia community.”

The “graduates” also heard from three alumni executives: Jim Donaldson, President of the Loyola Alumni Association, Robert Barnes, President of the Association of Alumni of Sir George Williams University, and John Aylen, Past President of the Concordia University Alumni Association.

Fittingly, there were valedictorians, Melvin Zwaig a 1959 BComm, SGW, and Raymond Décarie, a 1964 BComm from Loyola College.