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Graduates’ video shares some good news

Meet the students who reached out to actor John Krasinski and were rewarded with a turn in a viral video. 

Some Good News Queen's graduation
With Spring Convocation postponed due to COVID-19, Queen's students Aimée Carter, Taylor De Sousa, and Stacy Pinto decided to host their own graduation ceremony, which was picked up by Some Good News. (Some Good News / YouTube)

Many of us will agree, this is the time of year when the beauty of the Queen’s Campus is at its peak. Thousands of students and families would normally be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the university as they attend the convocation ceremonies. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these in-person events have been postponed. But that didn’t stop three friends from finding a creative way to cap off their time at Queen’s. 

The pandemic restrictions meant the university needed to rethink the traditional way it marks the end of the university experience. In mid-March, the Office of the University Registrar announced it is looking at Fall 2020 as a possible timeframe for convocation ceremonies to occur, in the interest of safety for faculty, students and families. 

“Since convocation was rescheduled, my housemates Taylor (De Sousa), Stacy (Pinto), and I decided to make our own celebration to commemorate our time at Queen's and still ‘graduate’ together” says Aimée Carter, a graduating Global Development Studies student. 

The trio gathered items that reminded them of Queen’s and got creative. 

“Our ‘diplomas’ were Golden Words newspapers and we made our caps out of pizza boxes” Carter says. 

But it was the graduation video the women made and submitted to actor John Krasinski’s You Tube series Some Good News that created the most memorable touch to their endeavor. 

“I’m a huge fan of John Krasinski and we all love watching his episodes of Some Good News each week,” says Taylor De Sousa, a graduating Psychology student. “I noticed Krasinski posted on the Some Good News Facebook page asking to see how we were all celebrating our graduation. There were so many comments from other grads like us, so I joined in and submitted our video.”  

Krasinski created the eight-week series as a way to celebrate the triumphs, joys and innovations of regular people. It grew to include celebrity drop-ins, fundraising endeavors and cool stunts.   

“Honestly, I was so shocked and excited when I saw that we were in Some Good News! We had joked about getting featured, but I didn't think it would actually happen” says Carter. 

The friends describe the video as “very uplifting” and say being featured made graduation feel a little more real. The icing on the cake perhaps, was the star power the post received. 

“It was amazing to see people like Oprah, Steven Spielberg, and Malala Yousafzai congratulate everyone in the video and I am so happy to have been a part of it, even if it was just in a little way,” says Carter. 

The graduating students now plan to further their education, with De Sousa returning to Queen’s in the fall to begin her master's studies, and Carter hoping to pursue a master's abroad.   

So far, the 30-minute video, which was posted May 3 has been viewed over 3.4 million times. The Queen’s graduates are featured at the 22:14 mark. 

“Overall the reception has been pretty cool, people keep noticing the Queens flag in the background and sharing the video. It has definitely been a fun and surprising conclusion to our undergrad,” says Carter. 

Queen’s University remains committed to ensuring students have the opportunity to celebrate graduation, just as previous classes of Queen’s graduates have-with friends and family at Convocation. Until that time, Queen’s is on schedule to confer degrees over the coming days and weeks.