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SPU proudly welcomes the 2017-2018 cohort among its alumni!

Last Friday, Saint Paul University celebrated convocation with great fanfare. It is with excitement that the staff members, professors and graduates of Saint Paul University congregated on campus to celebrate. No fewer than 159 students in canon law, human sciences, theology and transformative leadership received their diplomas.

Honorary Doctorates

Once again this year, we celebrated activism! Two committed individuals were granted an honorary doctorate: ethnographer Vivian Labrie, a woman of action and leading advocate for social justice; and editorialist Pierre Bergeron, a renowned journalist and communicator and a staunch supporter of francophone rights.

Vivian Labrie ‒ Rigour in service of engagement!

An independent researcher, Vivian Labrie is associated primarily with the Institut de recherche et d’informations socioéconomiques (IRIS) in Québec. She situates her work “between words and numbers.” For more than 40 years, she has done work on oral storytelling tradition and on popular knowledge.

My passion: contributing to the advancement of society using my research skills
My dream: building a Québec that is free of poverty
My message to graduates: “A university education serves in all areas of society! It allows you to have a creative, engaged and rigorous approach. We must join our efforts and engage all together and with the Other in a constructive dialogue on social inequalities!”

Vivian Labrie


“I am honoured and privileged. Saint Paul University is recognized for its humanist approach, and this doctorate highlights years of research, citizen action and institutional work. It’s a gift!”

Pierre Bergeron ‒ Connecting a critical mind and idealism

An alumnus of SPU, Pierre Bergeron made his mark especially as a journalist with the daily newspaper Le Droit in Ottawa, and as publisher of Novalis Publishing. With passion he has dedicated himself for 40 years to developing quality journalism, la francophonie and volunteer work.

A guiding principle for me: Elected representatives must govern and speak for all citizens, not just those who voted for them.
The Saint Paul spirit: openness to the world and the community
My message to graduates: “Never be afraid to question the established order to make things happen. Never be afraid to speak out freely against political and social excess.”

Pierre Bergeron


“Saint Paul University has never been far from my path, whether as a student or as a business executive. This honour validates the values that I cultivated throughout my career – as a journalist, as a manager and as an engaged citizen.”

Governor General’s Academic Medal

The Governor General’s Silver Medal was awarded to Maria Dagba (valedictorian), who has just completed an honour’s degree in social communication. The Governor General’s Gold Medal went to Sister Bonnie Ann MacLellan, Ph.D. (canon law).

Maria DagbaSister Bonnie Anne MacLellan

Valedictorians

Inspire. Encourage. Motivate. That is the mandate that Laurette Milonga Kaphemba (conflict Studies), Maria Dagba (social Communication) and Marie-Hélène Casimiro (public Ethics) gave themselves as valedictorians. Mission accomplished! These young bachelor’s students eloquently addressed the University community last Friday during convocation. Get to know these three inspiring graduates!

More than a campus: a family

Although the three young women do not know exactly what the future holds, they are sure of one thing: Saint Paul University was the right choice!

“In leaving the Congo to come and study in Canada,” Laurette says, “I discovered a new world. For me, Saint Paul has been a big family. My professors were always there for me.” Maria, also an international student, echoes these comments. “I found something different at Saint Paul. Here, the emphasis is on the person. The administration really supported me,” she explains. For Marie-Hélène, SPU is characterized above all through its community spirit. “I liked going to class in the morning, even at 9 a.m.!”

 
   

 

Laurette Milonga-Kaphemba

 

Marie-Hélène Casimiro

Three paths: one commitment

Although they studied in different disciplines, Laurette, Maria and Marie-Hélène have something in common: they are ready ‒ and determined ‒ to transform society!
Before starting a master’s in international relations, Laurette wants to work for an NGO. “I would like to work at the United Nations or in the humanitarian field,” she says. Maria is starting her master’s in the fall. “It will be in conflict studies or international affairs,” she says. Marie Hélène will start law studies in September. “There are so many opportunities in this area,” she says, “but I would like to participate in the democratic process, such as being a clerk in the House of Commons.”

 

Taught to think… and act!

The relevance of studies in the human sciences can seem obscure. However, insist our three valedictorians, Saint Paul University allowed them to develop concrete abilities.
“In public ethics,” says Marie-Hélène, “I learned to apply my analytical and critical mind, a crucial skill in many job sectors. We also learned to apply abstract ideas when it comes to social justice issues.” Laurette, meanwhile, says she learned the importance of active communication. “Thanks to the program, I learned about peaceful methods for conflict resolution. I am currently training to become a neutral third party.” Maria has also broadened her skills. “I worked on all aspects of promoting a social cause. The learning is interdisciplinary.”

Maria Dagba

Congratulations to all our graduates!


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