Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size
Welcome to the OISE Alumni and Friends website

#OISEGrad20: Distinguished professor pens letter of congratulations to OISE's spring graduates

Dear Class of 2020,

I am deeply honoured to have the chance to congratulate you today and to reflect a bit on what it means to complete a graduate program at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

Convocation is always a truly special moment; one that invites us to look back on the years gone by, to celebrate the present and to imagine a better future.

The past six months have reminded the world about the value of learning – what we have learned, what we don’t know, and how to get from one to the other. Universities play many roles in our society but I think their key role is as a place where people come together in an effort to help make a better future, for themselves and others; for the current generation and for the next, and the one after that. Today this role is more important than ever.

Universities evaluate, and sometimes – like today – celebrate individuals and you certainly deserve celebration. But all of us know that, as individuals, we are members of communities, especially those than include our families and friends. So, congratulations as well to all the families and friends sharing this special day with you.

And today is special, dare I say historic for you. In fact, I think OISE is itself truly special, and I hope you do too. The Institute's tradition of critical thought, innovative problem solving and research intensity mean that your graduate program will have enduring value. And succeeding in an OISE graduate program means that you have deepened your ability to enhance learning – learning about who we are, where we have been, where we might go, and how we might get there. My years at OISE have been foundational in my career, and I bet they will be in supporting your next steps as well.

Many congratulations to all of you.

''Chad Gaffield, OC, FRSC
Former President, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
Distinguished University Professor of History
University Research Chair in Digital Scholarship
University of Ottawa