Convocation speech

I was fortunate last night to be present at the convocation speech given by Lieutenant-General The Honourable Roméo Dallaire, who was awarded an honourary degree last night. I’ve been to several convocation ceremonies in my time (an average of two a year); this was by far the best convocation speech I have heard. Without making reference to any notes, Lt-Gen. Dallaire challenged everyone present to “muddy their boots”, by making every effort to visit some of the places where nearly 80% of the world’s population does not enjoy the rights, privileges, and freedoms that we have in Canada; we should all have a pair of boots under our beds with the mud of these places. Lt.-Gen. Dallaire discussed also two significant anniversaries that will affect Canadians in 2017: The 150th anniversary of Confederation, and the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. There are lots of plans for celebrating these events, said Lt.-Gen. Dallaire, but what is our strategic plan for moving forward as a nation? Lt.-Gen. Dallaire was charming, warm, and gracious during the following reception, and took the time to speak to many faculty and new graduates. This is the second time I’ve heard Lt.-Gen. Dallaire speak in person and consider myself privileged to have had these opportunities.

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