2022: Bachelor of Social Work Class of 2022 Celebrated at Virtual Convocation

St. Thomas University hosted a virtual convocation to celebrate the School of Social Work’s graduating class of 2022.

The ceremony was broadcast live on STU’s YouTube channel and is available for streaming HERE. It included traditional elements of an in-person convocation, including remarks from the president, an address to graduates, and a farewell address.

Graduate students Dana Richardson and Lauren Ripley served as co-valedictorians. They reminded students to use the qualities and skills they developed at STU when moving into the field of social work.

“We have learned throughout this program the many important values ​​and principles of social work. This includes advocacy, outsourcing, personal reflection, group work, etc.,” Richardson said. “One of the key learnings that will continue to impact our future careers is community. Social work is not just an individual profession, but also a cohesive profession; we cannot advance in this career without the help and support each other.”

Ripley added that although the graduates completed the entire 15-month program virtually, without ever meeting in person, they developed a strong bond with each other.

“That bond continued long after our virtual learning ended. We now support and encourage each other as we begin and continue our social work careers, educational pursuits, and other great things.”


The deputy. Graydon Nicholas, Chancellor and Chair of Indigenous Studies, spoke to graduates about being leaders in improving lives, opportunities and knowledge for society.

“MyNone of you will be involved in child protection agencies, education and policy development. You will have the privilege of shaping systemic change to improve the lives of young people, families and communities,” said Nicholas. “The future can be a path of hope and positive partnership for a better tomorrow for all of us in this province and this country.”

STU President and Vice-Chancellor Dawn Russell told the graduates that social workers provide a vital service to their community and that society will be better off because of their efforts.

Remember that the power you have to affect change can be achieved one person at a time. When you are overwhelmed by the worries and magnitude of the injustices and social problems around you, remember that a simple act of kindness can improve someone’s life. Any time you are able to make a difference in someone’s life is a gift to you. It’s a victory. Remember your victories. They can serve as a source of inspiration.”

Medal and award
The University Medal for Academic Excellence in the Bachelor of Social Work and the Fay Nagler Levine Memorial Award were presented to Lauren Ripley of Sydney, Nova Scotia.

Maria D. Ervin