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Brescia University graduates make final walk in school history


Some tears were shed Monday afternoon as the final graduation class in the history of Brescia University College (BUC) walked from the school, to the convocation ceremony at Western University.

The only university-level women's college in Canada, which was founded in 1919, closed its doors in May as it integrated with Western.

“It’s so special to be part of a Brescia graduating class, and the last graduating class,” says graduate Emma Morris.

Lead by bagpipes, the students made the traditional walk from Brescia to Alumni Hall across the street.

“It’s very emotional for all of us,” says Dr. Lauretta Frederking, past president of BUC.

“To march together, to walk together in solidarity and support for the future, the trust that in the uncertainty and mystery, great things will happen. Brescia lives in our hearts and all the hearts of the employees, the faculty, staff and students”.

Graduate Angelique Belanger felt grateful to be part of an historic day.

Brescia University College graduate Emma Morris shows off her graduation ring (Brent Lale/CTV London)

“It meant the world, if I'm being completely honest,” says Belanger. “I think that it was just heart filling, exciting and wonderful to see everybody again. Wonderful to see our faculty kind of lined up for us, cheering us on as they've been doing the entire time throughout our time at Brescia.”

Others like Hannah Schelfhaut were just happen to see classmates again after school ended last month.

“I didn't go to Brescia for Brescia,” says Schelfhaut. “I went to Brescia for the program, but I stayed at Brescia for Brescia. That community of women is unmatched, and there's nothing like it. I’m really sad that there's going to be nothing like it ever again”.

The graduates who spoke with CTV all pointed to values Brescia instilled in them.

Brescia University College Graduates walk the stage during convocation in London, Ont., on Monday, June 17, 2024. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)

“The idea of being a compassionate leader is something really, really strong,” says Morris.

Belanger called BUC a “very special place...It's a community of women uplifting other women... here's no competition, no malice. It's just all love and support and trying to kind of lift each other up as we achieve our goals. It’s just something special that I hope can be cultivated at Western with the integration.” Top Stories

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