Convocation spotlight on…

Names: Ron Papineau (right) and Lucien “Blacky” Albert (left)
Position: Ron is Supervisor, Moving and Signage; Blacky is Lead Hand, Furniture Crew
Department: Maintenance Services

How long have you worked on Convocation?

Ron: I started working at Carleton 26 years ago and have worked on Convocation almost every one of these years.

Blacky: I retire this July after 38 years at Carleton–I have worked at every Convocation except one (last year when I was moving).

What are your functions before or during Convocation and why are they important?

Ron: I order all the necessary equipment and do the work schedules so everything is ready for the ceremonies. First on my list is to make sure that the air conditioning is ready the Friday before the first ceremony and check the system the following Monday. Then I schedule the setup of the stage, chairs, sound and lighting. In addition to handling all of this work, the crews spend the day before, during and after each ceremony picking up garbage, tidying things up, directing visitors to the right locations and seeing to the last minute details that need attention.

Our crew always seems to go the extra mile to make sure that everything is tested and ready for the first ceremony–without their help it would be almost impossible to be ready for Convocation on time.

Blacky: I have to make sure that all the materials are ready and in place for each ceremony. This means everything from the chairs for the students and the Chancellor to having the podium on the stage, filling water coolers and making sure that the diplomas are delivered to the Fieldhouse on time. We always make sure that we have extra staff around once Convocation starts so that the ceremonies run smoothly.

What is it about working on Convocation that inspires you?

Ron: It is the sense of accomplishment I feel. I get to meet and know quite a few students and year after year, I see them graduate. In some little way I like to think that I helped them.

Blacky: Convocation is a special day for students and for us–and when it goes well, our crew is happy and so are the graduates. I also enjoy seeing people that I know–students who have worked with us and other Carleton staff that I know personally–walk across the stage. I feel a sense of camaraderie.

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