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BScN students celebrate pinning and convocation 2021

Jun 21, 2021
By Guylaine Spencer

Nursing pin from McMaster School of Nursing

Photo above: The nursing pin is traditionally bestowed upon graduating students on the morning of convocation. This year’s pins were mailed to students.  

Monday, June 14 was a day of celebration for 453 BScN students who were graduating after four years of hard work. This includes students from all sites of the consortium: McMaster University, Mohawk College and Conestoga College. The graduates are set to take their next steps in the exciting world of nursing.

In the morning, the McMaster University site celebrated with an online pinning ceremony. Dr. Joanna Pierazzo is the assistant dean, undergraduate nursing programs. She addressed the students during the ceremony: “The graduates of 2021 have been a remarkable cohort. They have embraced the many challenges of learning during this pandemic time. They have persevered with resilience and grace. They have worked very hard and we are all proud of each and every one of them. This nursing pin is an important symbol of welcoming you as new graduates into the nursing profession. The pin should be a reminder of the learning you embrace, the care you will provide patients and families and most of all, the commitment you have made to the nursing profession.”  

McMaster University Nursing Students Society Level IV representatives Sara Rajiwate and Homayra Ahmed were the masters of ceremonies for the pinning ceremony. Other speakers included vice-dean of the School of Nursing Dr. Sandra Carroll, faculty member Yvonne Lawlor, alumni Lois Chui, and pinning speaker and student Maricel Perez Vigueras.

 Sara Rajiwate
Photo above: Sara Rajiwate

The two masters of ceremonies spoke to their colleagues. “I’m extremely grateful to have attended McMaster University for my undergraduate career. This school has empowered me to strive for greatness. It’s been an amazing ride. I think we should all begin by recognizing our resilience and determination during these times. It was not easy, but we got through it and now is the time to celebrate,” said Sara Rajiwate.


Photo above: Homayra Ahmed

Homayra Ahmed was co-master of ceremonies. She reflected later that, “Before taking on the level four representative role, I underestimated how much it would require of me. Through it all, I had the privilege of listening to student experiences and advocating for change when possible. Hearing about personal challenges and their perseverance to get to where they are today, I was in awe. It’s important to remember life is not a race. Behind every success there are expected obstacles and failures. Don’t give up and you will achieve your dreams. We may not be where we want to be exactly, but we will get there.”  

In the afternoon, convocation took place for all three sites (McMaster, Mohawk and Conestoga). It was online as well, with presentations by several guest speakers including honorary degree recipient Dr. Marilyn Ray.  

Brittany Bates, valedictorian, spoke with warmth and humour as she addressed her fellow students: “If this past year has taught us anything, it’s that nursing is a career unlike any other. Being a nurse means different things to us all, but what unites us is our compassion, empathy and resilience, characteristics that are now reflective in us as we prepare to make the leap from nursing student to registered nurse. I hope today you feel proud and get to cherish the sense of achievement brought on by being a McMaster graduate. To our loved ones, thank you for seeing us through every moment of self-doubt, listening intently to our clinical stories and for allowing us to ruin every medical TV show you ever enjoyed watching. To our faculty, thank you for pushing us when you knew we were capable of more.” Bates also spoke with the Daily News, and you can read that story here: Meet Brittany Bates, valedictorian.  

Dr. Sandra Carroll, congratulated the students, saying, “You are graduating at a time in our history that will not be forgotten with COVID-19. But another important time 2021 represents in our history is that this year marks our 75th Anniversary as a School of Nursing. The next time you find yourself on Main Street West, look up (but not if you are driving) and take note of our 75th billboard that will remain for at least a year and features our own BScN students.”  

anniversary billboard 


School of Nursing 75th Anniversary Website 

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