Fall Convocation 2020

From: Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President & Provost
Date: August 11, 2020
Re:  Fall Convocation 2020

Thank you once again for your tireless work in managing the continuously changing environment as we continue to navigate our way through the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, the guidance of public health authorities suggests that the need for physical distancing and limits on large in-person gatherings to slow the spread of the virus will continue for some time. 

For this reason, the Chancellor (who is the Chair of Convocation) and the President have reached the difficult but necessary decision that Fall Convocation 2020, originally scheduled to occur November 9 – 13, 2020, will be conducted virtually with a single online ceremony. The exact date will be confirmed in the next month.

The November virtual ceremony will adhere to the format established for the June 2020 virtual ceremony, in which the core elements of a traditional Convocation ceremony are incorporated. Following the legal requirements under the University of Toronto Act, the Chancellor will confer degrees on all graduates. In these exceptional circumstances, all degrees will be conferred in absentia. Diploma parchments will then be couriered to graduates over the course of the weeks immediately following the virtual ceremony. 

When the public health situation stabilizes and it is possible to gather safely, individual academic divisions will then be in a position to make decisions around hosting in-person graduation ceremonies, noting that the Spring 2020 in-person ceremonies are still pending.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to communicate directly to graduating students at this time as the information about students’ eligibility to graduate is not yet available.  A direct communication will be sent in the Fall and detailed information on the Fall Convocation 2020 will be posted to the Office of Convocation website at that time. 

A joint announcement was made earlier today via social media channels with three other Toronto post-secondary institutions who have reached the same decision.