Convocation Message from Jim John

Published: June 15, 2022

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Three years ago, when many of you had just completed your first year at the University of Toronto, the Toronto Raptors basketball team won the NBA Championship. I remember the massive crowd that gathered at Nathan Phillips Square to celebrate the team’s victory. None of us knew what was coming: a pandemic that would bring the world nearly to a standstill.

Almost all of your time at university has been shadowed by the pandemic. You experienced the frightening early days, when instructors, students, and staff scrambled to move online. You endured Zoom classes and tutorials and curtailed–or cancelled–extracurriculars. It was not easy, but you met these challenges head-on and finished strong, showing a dedication and resilience that will leave you in good stead as you embark on the next phase of your life.

Now, thankfully, we are able to gather once again in large numbers, and this lends an extra poignance to this year’s Convocation celebrations. The Department of Philosophy and I are proud of you, thrilled by your success, and so happy that this year you will be able to celebrate that success in high style. We wish you, the graduating class of 2022, the very best. Keep philosophizing, and don’t forget to stay in touch!