The University of Guelph will hit the road around Ontario once again to celebrate this year’s graduates in a unique way with #GuelphGrad on Tour.

Although the pandemic has postponed in-person convocation ceremonies, winter 2021 and summer 2021 graduates will still get a convocation-like moment of walking across the red carpet at #GuelphGrad on Tour.

The event was originally scheduled for May but has been postponed given the provinicial emergency and stay-at-home order. The plan is to run the event in June, adhering to the public health and provincial guidelines that will be set out at during that time.

The week kicks off with three days of GuelphGrad events on the U of G campus, with further events to be held in London, Burlington, Toronto and Barrie. Grads who have registered will be included in the revised schedule and do not need to register again. Confirmed regalia rentals will also be moved to the new dates. Emails will be sent to all grads who registered to confirm these details.

Revised schedule:

Barrie, Liberty North Event Facility – June 5

University of Guelph, Summerlee Science Complex – June 11, 12 and 13

London, Delta London Armouries – June 15

Burlington, Hilton Garden Inn – June 16

Toronto, Holiday Inn Toronto International Airport – June 17

U of G ambassadors will host events in even more cities this year than in 2020, helping graduates pose for photos with a family member or friend against a variety of U of G backgrounds and oversized U of G letters.

A professional photographer will take a complimentary photo in front of the official convocation Portico backdrop while ambassadors will be available to take photos on graduates’ personals cameras and devices.

Graduates who want to wear regalia may buy or rent hoods, caps and gowns and bring them to the event.

“We are really excited to be able to host GuelphGrad on Tour again,” said Claire Alexander, manager of U of G’s Office of Ceremonies and Events. “It was such an incredible experience last fall, and the response was even greater than we anticipated. You only have to watch the video to see what a happy time it was for both grads and our ambassadors who were able to share in the excitement. “

Safety remains the top priority so physical distancing will be emphasized throughout. Each grad must register via the #GuelphGrad website for a time slot in each location, and complete and print a U of G and Ontario COVID-19 Self-Assessment screening form before arrival.

Degree parchments will be sent by mail with a tassel and confetti cannon in a special convocation box. A virtual convocation celebration will be held online in June for winter 2021 and summer 2021 graduates.

Neither event is intended to replace an in-person convocation ceremony, which will be held sometime in the future. U of G Alumni Affairs and Development will keep graduates informed of future plans.

“We are looking forward to when we can host in-person ceremonies again — maybe almost as much as our grads. That will be a real celebration,” said Alexander.

Should a city be deemed a grey zone under the provincial COVID-19 response framework, #GuelphGrad on Tour experiences will be cancelled. Registered participants will be notified via e-mail.

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