Autumn Convocation 2004














This past weekend, The University of Winnipeg celebrated the outstanding achievements of its students, professors, and a distinguished alumnus at Fall Convocation. The University also recognized an organization that has served as a model of global citizenship both locally and internationally with the inaugural Global Citizenship Award.

More than 250 degrees were conferred in Arts, Education, Science, and Theology at the University's seventy-eighth convocation held October 17. Andrea Siemens, BA (Hons.) gave the valedictory address.

The University of Winnipeg presented Dawn Sutherland, Associate Professor of Education, with the Clarence Atchison Award for Community Service. Sociology Professor Parvin Ghorayshi and Assistant Professor of Politics Peter Ives were honoured with the Erica and Arnold Rogers Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship. The Distinguished Alumni Award was awarded posthumously to Sheldon Oberman and accepted by his wife Lisa Dveris.

At the convocation University of Winnipeg President Lloyd Axworthy presented the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) with the Global Citizenship Award.

"For its work creating a more just society," said Dr. Axworthy. "For their defense of truth and justice. For their understanding that seeds of peace are sown not with clenched fists but with open hands, the Mennonite Central Committee has been chosen as the first recipient of The University of Winnipeg's Global Citizenship Award."

The Global Citizenship Award is a symbol of the University's commitment to living out its global responsibilities and, as such, served as the finale for the University's first and very successful OmniTRAX/Broe Quest Conference, "Caught in the Crossfire: Global Citizens Making A Difference."

The Mennonite Central Committee's commitment to peace building can be seen globally through its many initiatives to end hunger - spanning from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, and currently in Darfur, Sudan. Locally, MCC is known for its work in a variety of areas-from conflict resolution to speaking out against the ravages of war, from addressing ecological devastation to increasing awareness of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

"In my work as Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, I found myself in many desperate situations in remote and war-torn corners of our world," said Axworthy "And, more often than not, there before other relief or government agencies would be an MCC worker."

Ronald J.R. Mathies, Executive Director, Mennonite Central Committee, accepted the award on behalf of all MCC workers who serve as a peace witnesses in refugee camps, and in areas of civil unrest and natural disaster. Regardless of the inhumanity they observe, they have adopted MCC's commitment to integrate peacemaking into relief, service, and development. Even in the midst of strife, famine, and extreme poverty, MCC workers keep their focus on helping all people.

"Graduates, don't turn your backs on your people - the people of the globe," Mathies encouraged the grads. "Rather, 'do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God.'"

The Mennonite Central Committee, founded in 1920, is an international relief and development service agency with workers in 57 different countries. Its Canadian headquarters are located in Winnipeg and led by Donald G. Peters, MCC Canada Executive Director.

The University of Winnipeg Global Citizenship Award will be presented annually to an individual or group embodying the spirit and drive of a passionate, committed member of society that lives out the responsibilities of a global citizen. The award program includes a student internship program that will give a student the opportunity to work with the award recipient over the summer months. The new award is a symbol of The University of Winnipeg's commitment to its own international responsibilities.