Following the ceremony, the courtyard outside St. Mark's Chapel buzzed with energy as friends and family took photos, shared smiles and laughs, and enjoyed time together. This was an especially joyous occasion, as it was the first Convocation ceremony since 2019 celebrated on campus. (Convocation was celebrated jointly in September 2021 for the Classes of 2020 and 2021 via a hybrid celebration, which took place at the Robert H Lee Alumni Centre at the University of British Columbia.)
In her Convocation Student Address, Maria Therese Dela Rosa, winner of the Inspire Leadership Award and President's Award, reminded us that the Class of 2022 began their university studies in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our first year was spent in front of our computers, many of us alone in our bedrooms, dealing with a world in crisis."
Despite the challenging beginnings, the Class of 2022 worked hard to achieve their academic goals and, along the way, found friendship and support in the community of classmates, faculty, and staff at Corpus Christi College.
"This deep, rich, and vibrant connection, first brought about in the most challenging of times, is the reason that each of us will depart with a profound sense of resilience and dedication not only towards our peers but towards the greater good."
We are grateful to have walked alongside the Class of 2022 on their journey at Corpus Christi College, and we congratulate the graduates on their achievements!
Maria Therese Dela Rosa
Corpus Christi College, Class of 2022
Your Excellency Archbishop Miller, President Higgins, Board Director Michelle Chang, Faculty, Staff, Distinguished Guests, Friends, Family and fellow Graduates I am honoured to be standing in front of you today, presenting the valedictorian speech, as the representative for the class of 2022. To those, I have yet to introduce myself to, hi! My name is Maria Therese Dela Rosa (or simply put, Maria).
I am delighted for and could not be more proud of those who are here today. Graduates, after years of trials and tribulations, we have made it. We have found success. Success in our academics, in our careers, and simply put, in ourselves.
Pope John Paul II states “the human spirit must be cultivated in such a way that there results a growth in its ability to wonder, to understand, to contemplate, to make personal judgments, and to develop a religious, moral, and social sense.”
That, my dear friends, is what has happened to each of us upon entering and leaving St. Mark’s and Corpus Christi College. It is here that education entangles itself within the culture and humanity of every single student. We are taught to question the unknown, to challenge our beliefs, and to advocate for the issues that matter most.
How many of you have:
We have been changed by these experiences and by these events. Being a part of this community is something that will leave a lasting effect. To every member of the community, thank you. Thank you for your service, for your passion, for putting first student wellbeing, and for acting as our primary sources of inspiration. You have played an active role in each of our own, personal development. Your work does not go unnoticed. Genuinely, thank you.
Graduates, our journey has been unique, with our degrees beginning in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our first year was spent in front of our computers, many of us alone in our bedrooms, dealing with a world in crisis. This experience, though tumultuous at times, fortified an already existing belief found deep within us: this belief in which we do not have to go through this world alone.
As students, we overcame the distance together. We overcame the challenges together. We grew side by side, both amongst our fellow classmates and alongside the college. This deep, rich, and vibrant connection, first brought about in the most challenging of times, is the reason that each of us will depart with a profound sense of resilience and dedication not only towards our peers but towards the greater good.
To put it in the wise words of the college, we went from point A to point B. Point A is who we once were, and standing here today, I can confidently say that we have reached Point B. Now, I call before you to look at point C. We still have 24 letters in the alphabet. Point A to Point B was only the beginning.
I challenge you within this next chapter of your life to instill the pillars of the college. We have gained an inexhaustible thirst and appreciation for knowledge, faith, morals, and social justice. Continue that! My desire is that this community instills in you a blazing heart that is ready to love and ready to serve.
Once again, I would like to congratulate the class of 2022. To every graduate: You have a bright future ahead of you, and I, alongside the rest of this college, cannot wait to witness the impact you’ll have on this Earth.
I love you and I will forever be grateful.
Thank you. God bless!