October 15th marked one of the most rewarding events in Glendon’s academic year: the celebration of all those students who made the Principal’s Honour Roll in 2006-07.
In order to be included on this list, students had to achieve a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 7.5 or above. Unique to Glendon among all the faculties of York University – this average is cumulative, rather than year by year. This means that high achievers must maintain their excellent grades throughout their undergraduate career in order to stay on the Honour Roll beyond first year.
243 students received Honour Roll diplomas on October 15th, which represents a full 10% of Glendon’s entire student population. Almost half of these: 101 students achieved an 8.0 GPA (an A) or better. They were invited to bring their family members to the reception with the result that most students were accompanied by beaming parents and significant others. Glendon’s faculty members were also well-represented.
“We are very proud of this moment”, said Noël Chan, Glendon’s Director of the Office of Student Programs (OSP). “This event is particularly poignant, because it recognizes the contribution and participation of the faculty, staff and parents, as well as the students themselves.”
“Seeing their child’s name on an Honour Roll makes parents especially proud”, added Glendon economics professor and Glendon grad Rafael Gomez. “That’s how my parents felt when I received this recognition. As new immigrants, it was and important confirmation of their wish for my success and a validation of the hardships they faced in order to provide me with this opportunity for higher education.”
Hosted by Glendon’s manager of Student Financial Services Fiona Kay, those in attendance were welcomed by the principal, Kenneth McRoberts. “In this context, the word ‘elite’ has no negative connotations”, said McRoberts. “It is an entirely positive recognition of the first-rate professors and students who honour our institution. They affirm Glendon’s mission of providing an excellent bilingual liberal arts education and of training an intellectual elite.”
Glendon’s associate principal (academic) Françoise Boudreau also extended her congratulations and expressed her admiration for the passion and dedication of students and professors alike. “This event celebrates the success of the education we offer [at Glendon]”, said Boudreau. “It speaks of the close-knit and powerful relationship of students and professors on this campus.”
In a moving ceremony, each student was called up to receive a diploma, as well as a handshake from the principal and all the faculty members present. It was clearly a very emotional event for many of the recipients and their family members.
The reception hosted success stories from many different backgrounds. 2nd-year international studies student Shazia Noor had no idea that she would receive this honour. “This is a reaffirmation that I belong here, that I can do it”, said Noor. “I feel proud of my accomplishment and of this reward for my hard work. Glendon is my second home and I know that I am receiving an education which will be the best preparation for my future ambition of working in the diplomatic service or the U.N.”
Shazia Noor shakes hands with the principal
Part-time translation student Gina Létourneau has already been on the Principal’s Honour Roll in previous years. “I am working my way through the courses for a translation degree part time”, said Létourneau. She is juggling full-time employment, additional freelance work and studies with obvious success.
Principal McRoberts congratulates Gina Létourneau
Ana and Elena Daradur are recent immigrants from the Republic of Moldova studying business economics. The twins arrived in Canada just over a year ago, having graduated from a Roumanian French-language high school, knowing almost no English. In spite of the hardships of immigration – they are two of four daughters in the family and need to earn money to stay in school – these two inseparable, vibrant young women are getting excellent grades at school. They take the same courses, enabling them to share books and other resources. This is no problem – they have always shared the same interests and goals. “Education is so different in Canada”, said Ana in excellent English. “We have so many choices here and the fact that we can work at the same time provides us with practical experience before we start our career. This was unimaginable in our homeland.” Ana and Elena took the academic foundation course offered at Glendon, which fast-tracked their English skills. Working in a call centre provides them with invaluable practice as well. “We love the bilingual environment and the friendliness of the campus”, added Elena. “It’s like a family. We feel very welcome here and hope to go on to a master’s degree after graduation.” Their beaming mother confirmed that this was her hope as well.
Twins Ana and Elena Daradur with their proud mother
|Vincent Kanga surrounded by his Canadian family|
3rd-year business economics major Mayer Elharar found Glendon on the Internet through his search for this program. “Being trilingual – English, French and Hebrew – I know I am in the right place. The professors are so great and there are many opportunities for people like me, who like to get involved.” Elharar is a top student, but he is also the Chairman of the Board of the Glendon Entrepreneurial Club and head of Glendon’s Hillel Club.
Mayer Elharar and his mother
The afternoon culminated in an opportunity to meet and mingle and enjoy the refreshments offered. Most of the guests remained for a long time, unwilling for this festive occasion to end.
This article was submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny