October 19: First accounting graduates among CME fold at Fall Convocation
For three CME graduates taking part in Fall Convocation 2010, Saturday’s ceremony represented more than just the completion of an academic degree. It was also their reward for taking a chance two years prior, when they declared their intention to major in a designation that didn’t yet exist.
Despite its long history and reputation as one of the largest Bachelor of Commerce programs in Ontario, CME’s BComm program was only recently able to offer the accounting designation. This makes Christine Gallows, Kinley Graham and Meron Habtemichael the University of Guelph’s first recipients of a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting.
The trio joined around 60 other CME graduates attending Saturday’s Convocation ceremony at War Memorial Hall. Of the CME graduates, 45 were undergraduate, 15 were receiving master’s degrees and one, Vitali Alexeev, was receiving his Doctor of Philosophy in economics.
For Habtemichael, now working as an accounting specialist in Manulife Financial’s U.S. division, the day was the culmination of much hard work and a little risk-taking.
“My family was hesitant at first but my mother supported me and was behind me even when I couldn't prove that an accounting degree existed,” Habtemichael said. “Many people questioned my actions but I had faith that Guelph would take the necessary steps to ensure the program would come.”
Habtemichael is working toward obtaining his Certified Management Accountant designation, and plans to write the CMA entrance exam in June 2011.
CME Dean Julia Christensen Hughes, who addressed the graduates at a reception following Convocation, said the smaller numbers only added to the family atmosphere of the day.
“While fall convocation is CME's and the University's smallest of the year, we were nevertheless delighted to acknowledge the accomplishments of more than 60 students in the company of their family and friends last weekend,” Christensen Hughes said. “Several parents took the time to tell me that they had attended convocations at other universities over the years, and that they found ours to be the best by far, citing our warm and welcoming atmosphere.”