A fond farewell
During Convocation ceremonies in University Hall this May, Ricketts delivered his final address to graduates in the Arts, Pure and Applied Science, Professional Studies, and Theology faculties.
“You are the Class of 2023 – the epitome of Acadia’s motto – in pulvere vinces - because through hard work, you have prevailed,” Ricketts said, expressing his gratitude for the resilience students demonstrated over the course of their studies at Acadia.
He praised them for the challenges they faced and the milestones they achieved. The most significant of these was undoubtedly the global pandemic, which caused the campus to shut down in March 2020, during the Winter Term of their first year.
Despite this setback, the University was able to offer a combination of in-person and hybrid learning options for the remainder of their studies, making Acadia one of the few Canadian universities to achieve that.
Ricketts spoke about the importance of academic excellence but also emphasized the value of the Acadia community and the bonds forged between students, faculty, and staff.
The audience was captivated as he shared a poignant memory of his first Convocation when he presented a degree to Jeremy Ingham in 2017. Ingham was battling a terminal illness, and the Acadia community rapidly pulled together an early ceremony just for him.
Ricketts spoke highly of Ingham, saying he will always remember him. He encouraged the Class of 2023 to follow Ingram’s example and be “a person of substance” by making a positive impact wherever the future takes them. He also reassured the Class of 2023 that he will always remember them, leaving them with words of wisdom that now apply to him.
“Always remember the words of Confucius – ‘Wherever you go. Go with all your heart.’ And when you can return to Wolfville, please do because Acadia is, and always be, home.”
Ricketts’ last day on the job is June 30, 2023. Acadia is conducting a presidential search, and interim plans will be announced shortly.