Normally, this would be the time of year where thousands of friends, family, faculty and staff would gather at the Toronto Congress Centre to watch a sea of blue and gold-clad graduates cross the stage to receive their credentials and be recognized for their academic achievements.

With ongoing social distancing regulations in effect amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Humber postponed the in-person convocation ceremony and work began to find a new way to celebrate with graduates in June.

Humber decided to host a virtual graduation ceremony on Thursday, June 18 at 10 a.m., which will include video messages from President Chris Whitaker and other members of the Humber community, with a few surprises throughout.

On the virtual graduation website, family, friends and members of the Humber community can now post congratulatory “Shout Outs" to graduates. More than 1,500 shout outs have already been posted. Graduates and their families and friends are encouraged to share in the experience by posting on social media using #HumberGrad2020 and use the digital swag that can be found here.

For soon-to-be Early Childhood Education graduate Janelle Marshall, crossing the stage for her hard-earned diploma in front of her family was what motivated her throughout her program.

JanelleThis milestone is particularly special for Marshall, a mother to a young son.

“To have reached this milestone with my son by my side makes this accomplishment all the greater.”

“I was most looking forward to having my son see his mom walk across the stage,” says Marshall.

Initially, in addition to celebrating at home, Marshall also planned to visit Jamaica to celebrate with her extended family.

While those original plans are postponed, for now, she is looking forward to sharing the virtual graduation ceremony with friends and family online.

While the past several months have been challenging for all members of the Humber community, celebrating graduates is always an occasion to come together and focus on student successes. The virtual graduation ceremonies will provide new, unique ways to mark the occasion.

Graduating from Humber after completing the Winter 2020 term online, in unprecedented times, has given graduates many opportunities to reflect on their achievements and their future plans.

“I couldn’t have done it without the support of my family and my teachers,” said Marshall.

“I am grateful for my professor, Olga Rossovska. She was instrumental in encouraging me to continue my studies and confidently take on leadership roles that I didn’t know I was capable of,"

Marshall’s time at Humber won’t end here as she is planning to start the Inclusive Resource Practice program this coming Fall. She also plans to earn a degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Guelph-Humber in the future.

A virtual graduation ceremony video will be hosted on the website for anyone who is unable to attend the ceremony on June 18.

Humber is continuing to plan for a future in-person Convocation ceremony when it is safe to do so.