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Last Lecture celebrates UofGH’s Class of 2018

There was no shortage of highlights at the recent 13th Annual Last Lecture, where 200 soon-to-be-graduates of the University of Guelph-Humber’s Class of 2018 cheered, applauded and at times wiped away a tear or two.

Embedded between award ceremonies and stirring speeches during the evening were a dozen humour-filled videos featuring all of UofGH’s Program Heads, as well as other staff.

Highlights included a spoof on the British monarchy with a supporting cast of Queen Elizabeth II’s corgis presented by Media Studies, a thrilling credit roll of an action-packed blockbuster replete with high-speed camera work by Psychology, and “Toy Story” inspired words of wisdom from Early Childhood Studies.

The humour continued with a terse but meaningful media scrum by Justice Studies, an apt social-media campaign by Kinesiology, a witty conversation between two talking heads by Family and Community Social Services and a mock interview with a candidate committing every possible blunder by Business.

These clips, as well as others incorporating music, special effects and greetings, made the 13th Last Lecture unforgettable.

“Over the last few days, I have had a few conversations about Last Lecture and met with a number of graduating students and their parents and they all said the same thing: ‘where did the time go? I was only here yesterday,’” said University of Guelph-Humber Vice-Provost Dr. John Walsh. “I now look forward to welcoming you all as alumni.”

“Last Lecture is an opportunity for graduating students to reflect on their experiences and growth during their time at Guelph-Humber,” added Student Services Coordinator Matt Waghorn, part of the Student Life team who work diligently to stage the event each year.

“The event is really all about celebrating them and their accomplishments. The journey through post-secondary is a big one, and we feel that it’s an important milestone to recognize.” 

Graduating, already?

For undergraduate students, it can feel like one minute you’re a nervous and unsure first-year student sitting by the plant-wall bio filter, and the next moment you are posing for graduation photos.

These sentiments were shared by Lisa Cheaney-Hogan, an ECS alumna from the class of ‘08.

This fall, Cheaney-Hogan, who has a master’s degree in education, will begin a new teaching journey in a primary division contained Autism Spectrum Disorder classroom.

“You have all got to this point in your educational career in different ways; some of you came from high school, some of you as transfer students and some of you as mature students,” Cheaney-Hogan said. “Regardless of how you got here, you are all ending at the same place together. They say high school is the best time of your life — well, they obviously didn’t go to the University of Guelph-Humber. I never felt more like myself in any educational institution as I did here.”

Media Studies student Warren Schlote shared humorous anecdotes about a workplace accident that included a bleeding finger and the several hiccups that occurred during the running of GHTV, an initiative he started.

“I had a lot of anxiety about coming to Guelph-Humber, because there was all this talk about adulthood,” Schlote said. “But what I didn’t realize at that time was that I was going to be fine, because I already made the best decision of my life by choosing UofGH.”

Elena Merenda, Assistant Program Head of ECS, was the 2018 recipient of the Faculty/Staff Mentoring Award. She asked the graduating class to take risks, be vulnerable, and stay true to one’s professional values.

Faiza Ali, an ECS student, received the Michael Nightingale Community Enrichment Award. The award, presented by the first Vice-Provost of UofGH, Michael Nightingale, honours a graduating student who has made significant contributions to the University of Guelph-Humber community.