April 1 –  Encaenia Information for King’s Graduands

On February 16 we shared that we had made the difficult decision to postpone this year’s Encaenia until we can have it safely. When that time comes, we will fully celebrate your achievements, your time together at King’s, and all of your contributions to our community, with all the pomp and circumstance that you expect to experience at a proper Encaenia.

While we understand that it is disappointing not to have an in-person ceremony immediately follow the completion of your degree, we are planning ways to help you celebrate safely on and around the graduation date of May 27, and we invite your participation in this process. And I reiterate our commitment to you to hold Encaenia in person when such events become possible again. Read President Lahey’s full April 1 message and consult the Graduation 2021 page for more information.

The conferring of academic and honorary degrees takes place during Encaenia, a ceremony rooted in the traditions of Oxford. Encaenia is a Greek word meaning “beginning, commencement,” and the term has been used since the founding of King’s in 1789. The King’s graduation ceremony has not changed greatly over the years apart from the conferring of honorary degrees (although the use of Latin has given way to English).

A memorable event rooted in tradition

Bachelors of Arts, Science and Music are conferred by the president of Dalhousie University, while Bachelors in Journalism and honorary degrees are conferred by the chancellor of the University of King’s College. Combined honours degrees in Contemporary studies, Early Modern studies, and History of Science and Technology are conferred together by the presidents of Dalhousie and King’s.

The president of Dalhousie and the chancellor of King’s confer the degrees of Master of Journalism and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction. Graduands are presented alphabetically by degree and come forward individually to be conferred; kneeling to receive the degree is optional. A rehearsal is held the afternoon before the ceremony itself.

The academic gowns and hoods of faculty and graduands, the procession led by the apparator carrying the university mace, the music and celebratory setting make King’s Encaenia a happy, splendid, and memorable event.