5 things you probably didn’t know about SAIT’s convocation
A look at the production, traditions and hidden meanings
Rich in tradition, ceremonies are held in the spring and fall to formally recognize and commemorate the academic achievements of the graduands. Did you know a graduate is a graduand until they cross the stage and receive their credential?
Here's what else you probably didn't know about convocation:
1. The ceremonies are watched around the world.
Don't you love technology? Those unable to attend convocation sure do — every ceremony is streamed live, making it easy for family and friends to tune in. During the fall 2017 ceremony, the stream received 253 views outside of Canada from 28 different countries including Colombia, Russia, Italy and Japan.
2. Students help produce the "show."
SAIT students work behind the scenes to support the event production. This year's student crew, from the School of Information and Communications Technologies, will assist with equipment set-up, rehearsal and tear-down.
3. The Mace is one of a kind.
More than 10 years ago, experts from the School of Construction designed and built various items for convocation, including the Mace. Symbolizing the institution's authority to grant academic credentials, its detail and thoughtful design is extraordinary. The gold in the middle of the body represents SAIT's international and global reach, while the combination of advanced and basic technology used during production is a nod to tradition and a link to the future. When the Mace makes its grand entrance with the Mace bearer — the registrar or associate registrar — it's carried in front of the board chair and president to represent protection. Centuries ago, the Mace was a symbol of authority over life and death. Today, it represents the power of knowledge and the importance of the SAIT community.
4. Even the robes have a special meaning.
Along with the academic tradition of black gowns, SAIT graduands wear v-stoles to represent a certificate, diploma or apprenticeship credential. Those receiving an applied degree wear a black Oxford hood. If you're receiving your bachelor's degree, the hood is lined in traditional SAIT colours — red, white and blue.
5. Each school within SAIT has its own colour.
Adding to the meaning of the convocation attire, the v-stole selected for each school signifies academic tradition and symbolism identified with the colour:
- The School of Business wears Aztec gold — a colour associated with commerce, wealth and knowledge.
- Smoke blue represents the School of Construction for its relation to peace, calmness and strength.
- The School of Health and Public Safety wears emerald green — a colour linked to wellness, growth and healing.
- Olympic red embodies passion, energy and creative endeavours — a fitting choice for the School of Hospitality and Tourism.
- The School of Information and Communications Technologies dons turquoise, which is associated with heightened communication skills, creativity and sensitivity.
- Students from the MacPhail School of Energy wear royal purple for prosperity and the composition of raw materials.
- Our School of Manufacturing and Automation wears California burgundy to symbolize prosperity and innovation in the manufacturing of new products.
- Last but not least, the School of Transportation sports steel grey to symbolize stability. The colour also evokes a sense of strength and formality.
With more than 236,000 alumni worldwide, a better known fact about convocation is that the newest cohort will receive a warm welcome June 12 to 14 as the graduates officially join the SAIT alumni family.