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Convocation 2020: the Rotman School celebrates its resilient new graduates

June 2, 2020

The Rotman School is ready to celebrate the class of 2020! Though the global pandemic has presented some unique and unexpected challenges, it hasn’t dampened the celebratory spirit for the 690 students from across the Rotman School who were granted their degrees today, June 2.

Though in-person convocation ceremonies were moved online and celebratory receptions and dinners have been put on hold, rest assured, the Rotman School will be hosting celebrations honouring the class of 2020 when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, students, alumni, faculty and friends have found creative ways to mark the occasion.

Photo of Full-Time MBA grad Juliana Montoya

“One of the most challenging parts of the pandemic and physical distancing has been missing out on celebrating big milestones, such as attending a graduation ceremony with our friends and families,” says Juliana Montoya (MBA '20), who will be starting a full-time position at IBM this summer.

“Finishing the MBA program now is tough — that’s why now, more than ever, we should acknowledge that we have set ourselves up for success and we have made great memories.”

In the days before the virtual convocation ceremony, Montoya and her fellow classmates took the festivities online. They shared kind words and laughs at a virtual end-of-program class party and posted congratulatory messages on Rotman Kudos Boards.

Graduating students have a lot to celebrate, not only have they completed rigorous academic programs during an especially challenging time, but many graduates from the Full-Time MBA, Master of Financial Risk Management and Master of Management Analytics programs will soon be taking on full-time roles working in financial services, consulting, innovation and other spaces. Meanwhile, many graduates from the Morning and Evening MBA, Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA, Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences and Master of Finance programs have succeeded in accomplishing major career pivots or advancing their careers.

“The Rotman 2020 virtual convocation is critical in helping us remember who we are as a class and allowing us to take these values and lessons into our careers,” says graduating student Sam Kochhar (MBA '20). “Toughened by this crisis, I am positive we will accomplish amazing feats as empathetic future leaders.”

In one of his final duties as Dean of the Rotman School, Tiff Macklem delivered a virtual address to the class of 2020, expressing his confidence in today’s graduates.

Tiff Macklem at a convocation event in 2017.

“Despite the very difficult circumstances we find ourselves in today, I am optimistic for the future because I have seen, first-hand, your spirit and your ambition to build better businesses, better communities and a better world,” said Macklem. “You have built a formidable intellectual and practical foundation that will bolster your success in whatever you pursue.”

Many Rotman professors, including Professor Sarah Kaplan, echoed these sentiments in the messages they posted on Kudo Boards, where Rotman community members can show their support for the graduating class. Kaplan encouraged the graduating class to use this time as an opportunity to make an impact.

“Don't try to get back to the old normal,” she wrote. “Use all of this turmoil as a chance for a new beginning in which you apply your most creative ideas to imagine a new future.”

Indeed, the Rotman School is excited to see how the class of 2020 will lead, innovate and inspire. Congratulations, graduates!

The Rotman School of Management congratulates all students who graduated from their Rotman programs in June 2020, including:

316 Full-Time MBA graduates
101 Morning and Evening MBA graduates
58 Executive MBA graduates
25 Global Executive MBA graduates
39 Global Executive MBA for Healthcare and the Life Sciences graduates
37 Master of Finance graduates
60 Master of Financial Risk Management graduates
51 Master of Management Analytics graduates
3 PhD program graduates

—Rebecca Cheung

Meet our valedictorians »

Dean Tiff Macklem’s message to the Rotman Graduating Class of 2020 »

Send a special message to the graduating classes and celebrate on social media »