The April convocation for Winnipeg's Booth University College was a time of celebration and inspiration, as the school's new graduates were challenged to use their education to make a difference in the world.

Booth was honoured to welcome special guests Commissioners Brian and Rosalie Peddle, Chief of the Staff and World Secretary for Women's Ministries, who returned to their home territory from International Headquarters in London, England, to take part in the convocation celebrations.

Commissioner Brian Peddle delivered an inspirational convocation address that touched on both the challenges and opportunities of today's political landscape, and encouraged graduates to “choose well” as they go forth into the world.

“We are not pleased with the status quo of our world right now. And generations like mine, like ours, are looking for leaders who will step in and lift this world to a new place where life, opportunity and dignity is available to all,” said Commissioner Peddle. “I hope you will make the choices that need to be made today to become the kind of individuals that will be able to lead us in times such as we live now and will live in the future.”

Commissioner Susan McMillan awards Emma Gerard with the Chancellor's Medal Commissioner Susan McMillan awards Emma Gerard with the Chancellor's Medal

This year's valedictorian, bachelor of social work graduate Markus Beveridge, echoed Commissioner Peddle's words. “Through its promise to provide 'education for a better world,' Booth clearly states its intent of bringing positive change through its programs and students,” Beveridge said. “While we all came to Booth for our own unique reasons and from our own unique backgrounds, we leave here together with our faith, our education, and a shared purpose—the desire to make our world a better place.”

As part of the ceremony, Commissioner Susan McMillan, territorial commander, presented the Chancellor's Medal to bachelor of business administration graduate Emma Gerard and the General's Medal to bachelor of arts graduate Major Tiffany Marshall, now area commander for corps, British Columbia Division. Commissioner McMillan also recognized Colonel Glen Shepherd, who is ending his term as chair of Booth's Board of Trustees in August after 15 years of service.

Earlier that day, at Booth's baccalaureate service, Commissioner McMillan offered her own challenge to Booth's graduates. “If you want to be the kind of leader that stands the test of time, I leave you with three important messages: Clothe yourself with humility. Be resilient. And stay faithful, even in difficult times, and you will see that God is also faithful.”

Watch the 2017 convocation ceremony:


On Friday, May 19, 2017, Csm John Khalunji said:

Am very proud of my Salvation Army. Thanks to General William Booth (may the Lord bless his soul) for bringing us the Army. Am in Kenya and pray that one day good people of God shall sponsor me with an air ticket to come and see his grave!! Amen.

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