Convocation spotlight on…

Name: Cathy Pearen
Position: Deputy Clerk of Senate
Department: Senate Office

How long have you worked on Convocation?

Since 1975, when Dr. H.H.J. Nesbitt (who was Marshal of Convocation at that time) became the Clerk of Senate. As Dr. Nesbitt was the marshal for 50 years, my responsibilities grew dramatically over this period of time.

What is your function before or during Convocation and why is it important?

After a brief hiatusĀ from Convocation (2006), I am extremely happy to have resumed a very active role and to be able to share my knowledge and experience. I am a member of the Convocation Working Group, and we began planning the Spring 2007 ceremonies in February. The key to our tasks is the relationship of Senate to Convocation–the ceremony has real academic meaning so the details must all be correct.

What is it about working on Convocation that inspires you?

While being a member of the working group is challenging and demanding, not only on the day of, but the weeks leading up to Convocation, this event is by far the most rewarding part of my job–Convocation is truly a time of celebration.

To the general public and graduating classes, every ceremony appears to be so similar and seamless. They are, however, very different and quite unique. As such, each ceremony offers so many opportunities, challenges, problems and questions and this variety makes my job extremely interesting–especially when I have to make split-second decisions that could affect a lot of people.

Plus, the job brings so many rewards in the way of compliments from the graduates and their families/friends who appreciate the fact that we have made this day special for everyone.

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