Today we celebrate you, our most recent graduates. As you walk across the stage and take your well-earned places as alumni of the University of Ottawa, take pride in all you have accomplished. Your years of hard work and dedication to academic success have paid off.
Like those who have preceded you, dare to be different. Challenge the status quo. Defy the conventional. The world needs innovators, strivers, dreamers and activists to make meaningful contributions in communities around the globe. The future is yours to seize.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank you for choosing the University of Ottawa, and for making the university a better place to live, learn and thrive.
On behalf of the entire University of Ottawa community, please accept my sincere congratulations on your graduation. As you continue on your journey, know that you are always welcome at your alma mater.
The University Coat of Arms
The Canadian Heraldic Authority was established by Governor General Jeanne Sauvé on June 4, 1988, under powers granted to the Governor General and her successors by Royal Letters patent received from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Canada. Canada is the first country in the Commonwealth outside the United Kingdom to exercise this ancient royal prerogative in its own domain. Coats of arms, which are grants of honour from the Crown, are symbols of authority, ownership and identity. Through these symbols, Canadian corporations and individuals have a beautiful and permanent method of celebrating their history, geography and aspirations.
Acting on behalf of the Board of Governors, Antoine D’Iorio, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa, petitioned the Crown to grant to the University armorial bearings by lawful authority.
In making the petition the Rector represented to the Chief Herald of Canada that the University of Ottawa was first established as the College of Bytown by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate in September 1848 and was incorporated by Act of the Parliament of the Province of Canada on May 20, 1849, becoming known as the College of Ottawa in 1861 and receiving its university status in 1866 by Royal Charter, with a further evolution as a publicly funded, non-denominational institution in 1965 under the name University of Ottawa, according to the terms of an Act of the Legislature of the Province of Ontario. The Act of 1965 also created the federated Saint Paul University to which were passed the old civil and pontifical charters of the University of Ottawa.
The coat of arms of the University of Ottawa was granted under the powers held by His Excellency Ramon John Hnatyshyn, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, Head of the Canadian Heraldic Authority. The arms were granted to honour the University’s contributions as Canada’s oldest and largest bilingual university and as part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the University of Ottawa’s provincial charter.
Armorial Bearings of the Faculty of Medicine
The former Dean of the Faculty, Dr. Jean-Jacques Lussier, designed the armorial bearings for the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Faculty. Her Majesty the Queen graciously approved the inclusion of the Royal Crown in the Coat of Arms on June 10, 1970.
THE SHIELD: The colours red and silver (white) are the colours of Canada. They traditionally represent the two main languages and cultures of our country. Ottawa is situated at the border of two provinces, one inhabited by a majority of English-speaking Canadians and the other by a majority of French-speaking Canadians. The wavy fess represents the Ottawa River. The Royal Crown makes reference to Ottawa being the personal choice of Queen Victoria as the site of the then capital of the Province of Canada and later our federal capital.
The snakes twisted around the staff of Aesculapius have long been the symbol of the medical profession and considered in many early civilizations to possess mysterious healing power. The three snakes in the shield allude to the three programs of the Faculty of Medicine: undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate. The black border refers to the darkness of ignorance and fear through which shines the light of science and knowledge represented by the golden books, often represented in heraldry as the symbol of educational institutions.
THE CREST: According to legend, the pelican tears the flesh off its chest with its beak to feed its small with flesh and blood. Symbolically, it expresses compassion for others, which is so essential to the practice of medicine.
THE MOTTO: Sanando docemus (Healing we teach) refers to the fact that teaching the art and science of medicine cannot be separated from the practical application of this art and science. The medical educator transfers knowledge to students in the course of delivering medical care.
Baccalaureate of Arts Program (SPU)
Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies
Management (Telfer School)
History of the Deans of the Faculty of Medicine
1945 – 1950
Father Lorenzo Danis
(Chair of the Executive Council)
1950 – 1957
Dr. Arthur Richard
1957 – 1975
Dr. Jean-Jacques Lussier
1975 – 1990
Dr. Gilles Hurteau
1990 – 1995
Dr. John Seely
1995 – 2006
Dr. Peter Walker
2007 – 2017
Dr. Jacques Bradwejn
Dr. Bernard Jasmin
The Professional Engagement
The Oath of Hippocrates
About to receive the degree of Doctor of Medicine, I solemnly affirm, in the presenceof the members of the University of Ottawa Senate, faculty members, family and friends that I shall:
ever remember those who taught me my art, and faithfully fulfill the obligations of gratitude for my training;
render professional service to the sick and the injured with constant care and scrupulous integrity, so far as lies in my power;
not undertake to perform tasks beyond my ability and competence;
constantly strive by all reasonable means to add to my knowledge and skill;
abstain from all acts that might cast discredit upon my high and noble calling;
and that in the practice of my profession, I shall at all times, to the utmost degree consistent with public duty, preserve inviolate the confidence of my patients.
I will keep this pledge forevermore.
Message from the Chancellor
My warmest congratulations to our new graduates on this special day, when we celebrate the fruits of your tireless work and perseverance. I hope that you truly savour this moment.
To the families, friends and loved ones of the graduates we are honouring today, I would like you to know that we share your pride and joy. Many of you have supported these graduates through what might have felt to them, at times, like a very long journey. Today is your day as well.
To the graduates, I would say that your convocation should be a time brimming with energy, and relief, along with the desire to take on new challenges, equipped as you are with an extraordinary store of knowledge. But more than simply facts and figures, you have honed your appetite for knowledge, an appetite you must continue to develop, nurture and encourage by seeking out others. Remember that every person you will meet on this planet will know something that you don’t, and it’s up to you to discover that knowledge.
Some of those who are graduating today will be going on to further studies. Others will move confidently into the workforce, or towards new horizons. Wherever you are, wherever you go, remember that you have the power to make change happen, not only in your own lives, but also in the world around you. But this power and responsibility requires courage. Courage to be honest, to make unpopular decisions and to admit your mistakes. Often when your situation seems bleakest, when you have nothing to lose, you discover your greatest creativity and unleash your greatest courage. Never doubt that you always have within you the courage to make the right decision.
My third message is simple: pay attention. Pay attention to those around you, your colleagues, your employees, your customers, your partners, your family members. Listen to what they say, and don’t say. Read their body language. Be prepared to nurture your soft skills, the kinds of skills you haven’t necessarily developed in a classroom or online. Because to succeed in today’s increasingly fast-paced world, you will need to harness these skills to be internationally audacious as well as socially engaged in your community; you will need to be flexible and adaptive in your response to others.
But I have every faith that you will succeed in this new world, because you are fully equipped to do so. You are primed for success, but the passage of time is arrogant and will not wait for you. So while today is for looking back and congratulations, tomorrow is for looking forward to what you can contribute to Canada and the world. I wish you every success.
Welcome to the Alumni Association!
On this special day, I would like to sincerely congratulate you on behalf of the Alumni Association for your achievement. I’d like to offer you a very warm welcome into the University of Ottawa alumni family!
After this Convocation, the University of Ottawa will have more than 211,000 alumni in over 150 countries. You are now an integral part of a prestigious network of alumni who are making their mark both professionally and personally and who are the best ambassadors of their alma mater!
The role of our association is to maintain and create strong relationships between alumni and the University, and to support alumni in their careers. Members of the association’s board of directors are volunteers active in different fields. The Board puts forward new ideas and fund many of the activities and services offered to the alumni community.
Every year during Alumni Week the association highlights the outstanding achievements of six alumni with the annual presentation of the Awards of Excellence. We also help students succeed through two generous scholarships.
In May 2015, we completed a historic project; for the first time since 1848, alumni will have their own hall on campus. Located in the heart of the campus, the Alex Trebek Alumni Hall is a special meeting point for alumni to explore new ideas, reconnect with former classmates and rediscover their alma mater. It’s a living symbol of alumni commitment towards their alma mater, and a recognition by the University of its proudest ambassadors.
We look forward to meeting you at one of the uO2.0 series of events in the fall or during Alumni Week in May 2018.
Elizabeth Rody (BA ’83)
President, University of Ottawa Alumni Association
Member, University of Ottawa Board of Governors
Keep in touch and get the latest on alumni events, services and privileges!
Visit us at Alex Trebek Alumni Hall, 157 Séraphin Marion.