Celebrating interdisciplinarity

June 20, 2017 at 10:30am

As Dean of York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, I welcome you to this Spring 2017 Convocation ceremony.

Let me congratulate you, your parents, your family, friends, grandparents and any one else who is here for you to witness this special moment in your journey. Let us take another moment for another round of applause for all of the contributions that has made possible this momemnt. Let us make it louder this time.

Graduates of 2017: Each of you on this stage today come from our interdisciplinary programs. We want you to know that are graduating from a university which is globally recognized as a pioneer in interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching. At York, we take interdisciplinarity to be a frame of mind. It is a frame of mind that liberates us from narrowness, bias, intolerance and rigidity. It leads us to creative solutions of complex problems which determine the quality of our lives. Take human rights, social housing, racial profiling or mental health.

Your education at York has taught you that no simple, technical solutions to these problems will stand the test of time. You know you must defy established boundaries. You have learnt to listen to  different perspectives with humility and you are a master at fostering collaboration.

I have every confidence that like the 120,000 alumni of this Faculty who came before you, you will excel at all these tasks. At York, we have always believed that interdisciplinary education should not be a privilege for a few, but a mindset for the public and the community at large.

Graduates: You are this university’s proud contribution to that human community which embraces interdisciplinary knowledge, contending perspectives and the spirit of collaboration. Today more than ever, we need you to create institutions and communities that unleash the power of the cooperative, democratic, inclusive dimension of the human spirit.

You are this university’s proud contribution to that Canada which struggles to face its history but boldly aspires to move forward.

You have overcome many barriers to get where you are today. Please come back to share your stories of success and resilience, inspire our students and inspire us all.

Thank you.