Faculty of Education Graduates Celebrate with Rick Mercer at Convocation Ceremony and Awards Banquet

By: Jesica Hurst
June 19, 2014

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Pictured above: Comedian and television personality Rick Mercer delivers an inspiring Commencement speech

Family, friends, and faculty members gathered at Alumni Hall on the morning of Friday, June 13 to celebrate the 644 Faculty of Education students graduating at Western University’s 303rd Convocation ceremony. 56 students graduated from Graduate Education programs, and 588 students graduated from the Teacher Education program.

During the ceremony, Western also conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (LL.D.), upon comedian and television personality Rick Mercer for his more than 25 Gemini Awards for television writing and performance.

“I actually had a wonderful time. I think for most of the graduates and the parents and the friends and family […] there’s a lot going on, there’s a lot of stress, it’s a real blur, so I think I actually had more fun than most people because I’m pretty relaxed,” Mercer explained.

The Mercer Report star also gave an entertaining and heartfelt commencement address ( watch here ), encouraging the Education graduates to get out and explore Canada, and make a difference in the world.

“Your generation is one my generation and older generations will look to, to solve problems,” he said. “I know you can do it and it will be a beautiful sight. Get out there and fix my country.”

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The Faculty of Education speaks with television personality Rick Mercer and Teacher Education Student Council President Mark Henshaw about their academic accomplishments.

Dean Vicki Schwean with Dean's Prize in Education Award Recipients

Pictured above: Dean Vicki Schwean (middle) and the Dean's Prize in Education award recipients Victoria Iceton (left) and Mark Henshaw (right)

Immediately following the Convocation ceremony, Mercer joined a handful of graduates and their family and friends at Perth Hall for lunch and a special awards ceremony. A total of 43 students and four instructors received Graduate and Preservice Awards for their various accomplishments and acheivements throughout the academic year.

Faculty of Education Dean Vicki Schwean explained that while the convocation ceremony was particularly delightful this year, the awards banquet was the “icing on the cake.”

“The next generation of educational leaders clearly stood before us. It was the most gratifying to me that numerous students took the time during the convocation ceremony and awards banquet to express their gratitude towards the Faculty of Education and its faculty and staff for a memorable academic and personal experience,” Schwean said.

"All in all, it was a great day!"

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