Linda Schuyler, Innis Alumna & Hon. Degree Recipient, Returns to Innis College
On June 14, 2016, Innis’ most recent cohort of graduands walked across the stage of Convocation Hall to accept their diplomas. This year’s ceremony was of particular significance for the College’s new alumni. Receiving her Honourary Doctorate and delivering the convocation address was fellow Innis alumna (’74), and Degrassi creator, Linda Schuyler.
Schuyler opened by paying homage to her alma mater. “When I graduated from Innis College, and yes, it was 1974,” she chuckled sincerely, “I could never have imagined nor predicted that one day, 42 years later, I would be on this stage to receive this wonderful honourary degree — thank you — and have the opportunity to talk to you, our graduates.”
Schuyler went on to recount her personal narrative, sharing the many struggles that she endured and witnessed along the way. She impressed upon Innis’ graduands that unpredictability is a part of life. “Give yourself permission,” she encouraged, “As I have had to, to recalibrate your dreams from time to time. Perceived obstacles can, in fact, be opportunities. And as the Degrassi theme song says, ‘You will make it through.'”
Passion and compassion, two recurring themes in her remarks, were reinforced in her parting words:
“I encourage you to attack your life fearlessly. If you have passion to keep moving forward, and the kindness to embrace the diversity of your fellow travelers, you might not end up where you thought you would be, but you will end up where you are meant to be. Enjoy your journey.”
Later that day, Schuyler returned to Innis College, for a chance to connect (and reconnect) with students, alumni, and faculty.
Thank you, Linda, for giving back to the Innis community through your words of encouragement and wisdom. Congratulations on this very well-deserved recognition from the University.
And congratulations to the Class of 2016. Welcome to the Innis Alumni Network!
Watch a webcast of Linda’s address here: