Valedictorian Erik Bullanoff addressed the crowd of family

Valedictorian Erik Bullanoff addressed the crowd of family

Ceremonial salute for J.L. Crowe graduates

The ceremony at Cominco Arena engaged a crowd of roughly 1,000 people with cheeky anecdotes, inside jokes and future dreams.



Imagine walking down a path that leads to volunteering in Fiji, becoming an astronaut or attending U of C and meeting a cowboy.

Okay, maybe meeting a cowboy isn’t that big of a stretch for some of us but those were actually some the dreams expressed by J. L. Crowe’s graduates at the convocation ceremony on Friday night. The ceremony at Cominco Arena engaged a crowd of roughly 1,000 people with cheeky anecdotes, inside jokes and shed light on some of the dreams that the community has for the future.

“As we prepare to leave the Crowe and our memories behind, the one thing we will never forget are the personalities and the effect they had on who we are today,” valedictorian Erik Bullanoff explained while comparing his peers to shoes.

He said that the patterns, shapes and styles of shoes could steer people in any direction they choose. In the end, choosing to make a move is totally up to you.

Bullanoff said shoes could be lumped into three categories—kids, men’s or women’s. It wasn’t until the end of his high-school career when he reached yet another conclusion. He explained that finding a shoe that fits is like finding a style that suits your individuality.

“As we have grown and matured we’ve realized that what we had got was one wicked awesome shoe,” he concluded. “As Dr. Seuss said, ‘don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.’”

Despite the matching blue caps and gowns, Bullanoff argued that his peers were not merely a group of “similarly packaged shoes stacked up in a store.” The J. L. Crowe class of 2012 is a group of hardworking individuals who dream about becoming influential members of society.

The class dreams about careers as diverse as their shoes—sandals to stilettos or high-tops to heels—ranging from engineering to journalism, ironworking to law and teaching to medical science. For others, it’s about world domination.

But the faculty and guest speaker, Dr. Blair Stanley, wanted grads to focus on something a little bit simpler. Stanley encouraged grads to choose a home congruent to their lifestyle, find work that is meaningful to them, select a partner carefully and cope with adversity honourably.

“Be thankful and humble,” he told them. “And do something that is more important than yourself.”