On the evening of June 29th over fifty graduates and their families and friends celebrated their graduation from City University of Seattle in Canada at Vancouver’s beautiful Jewish Community Centre. Vice President of Canadian Programs, Arden Henley congratulated the graduates, welcomed guests for the evening and introduced the faculty. Henley noted that with programs worldwide CityU “reaches out to the world with the message that everyone with a desire to learn should have an opportunity and that what is learned should be relevant.”
Highlights of this special evening included the attendance of CityU President Randy Frisch and his wife, Suzanne; an inspiring speech by honoured guest, Michael Clague; poems read by CityU in Canada Poet Lauriat, Colin Sanders; and reflections from student representatives from the various 2017 graduating cohorts in the Master of Education and Master of Counselling programs.
Setting the tone for the evening, the concluding two stanzas of May You Know Peace by Colin Sanders composed in honour of the 2017 CityU in Canada graduates:
May you fight the power
For the not-knowing and the ignorant
For the suffering
May you know peace
And peace at the end of each day.
Director of Canadian Business Operations, Gerry Zipursky introduced the guest speaker. Here are several observations Michael shared with graduates from his talk entitled Where to From Here? Practice in Breath-Taking Times –
“…….one cannot reference the external environment these days without recognizing two large issues; climate change and today’s global, geo-political instability.
What place do these topics have for graduates in education and counselling? Put simply, they infiltrate and permeate our daily lives, and the lives of those with whom you are and will be working. They have a psychological impact which affects people’s will to live with purpose and energy. They impact our readiness to build better communities, better societies, a better world.”
“These big issues may seem far from what you will be doing as educators and counsellors. But you are the canaries in the coal mine. Every day you are working with people directly and indirectly impacted by these issues, whether they realize it or not. Your challenge is to help people make sense of how they live their lives, to enable people to find meaning, and to contribute to their communities and to society. Indeed, it is through engagement in the world that one is fulfilled.”
“……..as educators and counsellors, you are engaged in the work of helping people to change their lives. They are among the most trusted roles that one can have in society. Act with integrity. Without it, you have no credibility.”
Director of Canadian Counselling Programs, Steve Conway and Director of Canadian Education Programs, Jill Taggart introduced their respective graduates. A representative from each graduating cohort reflected on their experience of studying at CityU in Canada.
Vice President, Arden Henley ended the evening by thanking the staff team whose hours of work behind the scenes made the evening possible. Referring to former US President Barack Obama’s recent speech in Montreal, Henley noted that the way to assure our collective security in these complex and changing times is by building and connecting oases of sanity and justice everywhere and, on behalf of CityU, wished the 2017 graduates All the Best in All their Future Endeavours.
We have shared a few photos from the evening below, but we will be sharing lots more through social media and our Facebook page in the coming weeks. Be sure to watch for updates!