grad labelled Class of 2021More than 4,400 members of the Class of 2021 will graduate over 13 sessions of Convocation.

Convocation a culmination of determination for 4,400 new grads

Years of hard work, late nights, and dogged determination have culminated in a single moment for thousands of students at the University of Windsor.

The 2021 Spring Convocation officially kicks off today at 2:30 p.m. with the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences ceremony.

More than 4,400 graduates will have their degrees conferred over 13 sessions, ending on June 16.

“While we cannot celebrate with our graduates in person, we stand “Windsor Proud” in spirit, taking pride in their hard work and dedication, leading them to this most extraordinary triumph at the University of Windsor,” says provost Patti Weir.

To view the virtual celebration, visit On the website, graduates and their supporters can watch the ceremony, view award recipients, and celebrate with various digital resources.

Join in congratulating graduates by using the hashtag #UWinClassOf2021.

Andrew Adoranti, Austin Di PietroUWindsor alumni Andrew Adoranti and Austin Di Pietro wrote a song in the finals of CBC's Searchlight musical talent competition.

Windsor duo seeking CBC Searchlight spotlight

UWindsor alumni Austin Di Pietro (BMus 2018) and Andrew Adoranti (BASc 2021) are finalists in a national talent search sponsored by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

The musical duo and songwriters known as “The Bishop Boys” and their song Dark Days have made it into the Top 100 in CBC's Searchlight competition.

The competition began with 2,400 applicants and was narrowed to the top 100 on June 2.

Fans have until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 8, to vote for their favourite band — and can vote once each day.

“The Searchlight Top 100 announcement was a huge surprise to both of us,” says Di Pietro. “The fact that our nomination came from the CBC Music producers themselves (and not the popular vote), makes it even more of an accomplishment for us, personally.”

Adoranti says the band almost didn’t submit an entry.

“We had tossed around the idea for a few days before making a last-minute decision to throw our hat in the ring,” he says.

The choice of song was a no-brainer for the duo. Their most recent single, Dark Days was written back in the first lockdown in May 2020 and features a pandemic-inspired music video and lyrics.

“Out of all our songs, we felt that this song's message would resonate with the most people,” says Adoranti.

Making music during a pandemic has definitely had its challenges. They weren't even allowed to be in the same room for much of the writing process.

“We were sending phone voice clips back and forth to each other for a few weeks before the original gathering limits were eased and we could finally get together to finalize the song structure and lyrics,” says Di Pietro.

The pandemic also limited their ability to work with musicians in the studio and a film crew on the video, so they actually ended up doing much of the recording and filming themselves. It hasn't been all bad, though. While working on the music video, they actually ended up learning a lot about filmmaking, videography, and directing. Watch it here.

The pair have been jamming and writing songs together since high school. At UWindsor, Di Pietro majored in music (trumpet), while Adoranti took jazz piano and accompanying as electives, while majoring in electrical engineering. They are perhaps best known as core players of the Windsor jazz ensemble the Coffee House Combo. Prior to the pandemic, the group held the longest-running residency at the nationally acclaimed music venue Phog Lounge.

The Bishop Boys emerged in 2018, as a 10-piece band fronted by the duo, immediately selling out venues and showcasing at festivals across the Windsor-Essex region.

Besides Di Pietro and Adoranti, the band features Natalie Culmone, vocals; Johnathan Kosty, lead guitar; Alex Leite, bass; Vanessa Harnish, drums; Derek Impens, auxiliary percussion and guitars; Sebastian Bachmeier, alto sax; Kelly Hoppe, tenor sax; and Matthew Lepain, trumpet.

—Susan McKee

Sarah GlassfordLeddy Library archivist Sarah Glassford will present a webinar in a series on Canada’s role in the WWII Allied invasion of Europe.

Library archivist to present webinar on women supporting WWII Canadian troops

Leddy Library’s archivist, Sarah Glassford, has joined a nine-part webinar series to raise awareness and foster interest in Canada’s military history in Europe.

The Maple Leaf Route webinar series hosted by the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Student at WilfrId Laurier University in partnership with the Canadian Battlefields Foundation, the Juno Beach Centre Association, and the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society explores various aspects of Canadian involvement in the Allied invasion of Europe during the Second World War.

Glassford will present her research, A Woman’s Touch: Supporting Canadian Servicemen’s Resilience in Europe, 1943–47, via Zoom on Wednesday, June 16. In this talk, she will discuss the emotional dimensions of the Canadian presence in Europe during the later years of the Second World War.

Her lecture is drawn largely from her chapter in Making the Best of It: Women and Girls of Canada and Newfoundland during the Second World War, a recently published book she co-edited.

Glassford will tell the stories — gathered from letters, diaries, and oral histories — of the 641 women of the Canadian Red Cross Corps Overseas Detachment who provided support services for sick and wounded Canadian military personnel, and explore how friendship, kinship, and romance helped both servicemen and Red Cross women cope with the physical and emotional traumas of wartime.

The webinar is free and will take place Wednesday, June 16, at 7 p.m. Advance registration is required and can be done online: Webinar Registration - Zoom.

The Maple Leaf Route webinar series will follow in the footsteps of Canadians as they landed at Juno Beach and pushed inland against the German Third Reich.

Residence Hall WestThis campus tower has been renamed Residence Hall West.

Residence renaming seeks to create a more inclusive campus environment

The University of Windsor announced Friday the renaming of the Macdonald Hall student residence to Residence Hall West.

In a statement on the issue, president Robert Gordon acknowledged John A. Macdonald’s involvement and support of the residential school system and its negative impact on ethnic and racialized people, particularly those in Indigenous communities.  

“The University of Windsor is committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment that reflects the values we hold of enabling people to make a better world through education, scholarship, research and engagement,” he said.

Read the full statement regarding the renaming of the former Macdonald Hall.

Brain with lettering superimposed "Trivia Night"Faculty and staff will gather online June 11 for the seventh entry in the University’s virtual trivia competition.

Still time to register for faculty-staff Trivia Night

There is still space remaining in the online Trivia Night for UWindsor faculty and staff Friday, June 11, at 8 p.m.

The friendly competition will test players in teams of up to six. Interested individuals without a team may ask to be assigned to one.

There’s no charge to enter. Register as a team or individual by Tuesday, June 8, using this online form.

Project seeking to identify children in unmarked graves at Indian residential school

In collaboration with Sioux Valley Dakota Nation, researchers from Simon Fraser University, Brandon University, and the University of Windsor are conducting an investigation to identify the children buried in unmarked graves at the Brandon Indian Residential School in Manitoba.

The Brandon Residential School Cemeteries Project intends to identify the names of children who died at school while it was in operation from 1895 to 1972. Using forensic methods coupled with archival research and interviews with survivors, the project team will reclaim the identities of children and work with affected communities and families.

“This project is integral in raising awareness and reinforcing public education on the legacy of historical trauma of Indigenous people in Canada,” says Evelyn Pratt, Sioux Valley councilwoman. The nation continues to seek ways forward to identify and protect the site’s cemeteries. “The proper and respectful identification leading to the repatriation of the remains of those innocent lives lost will hopefully provide closure and healing for families.”

Project collaborators include SFU professor and project lead Eldon Yellowhorn; SFU doctoral candidate Katherine Nichols; SFU faculty researchers Deanna Reder, Hugo Cardoso, and Dongya Yang; University of Windsor professor John Albanese; Brandon University professor Emily Holland and student Darian Kennedy; and other student research assistants.

The collaborators share the sadness of the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc First Nation regarding the preliminary results of the investigation of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Those working on the Brandon project are aware that communities and families of missing children across the country are now being reminded of their losses once again. Now they must confront old questions regarding their children. Although their grief is private, they desire resolution.

Investigations into the cemeteries and unmarked graves at the Brandon school site began in 2012. Sioux Valley Dakota Nation chief and council and other landowners collaborated with Nichols, who at the time was a master’s student at the University of Manitoba. The results of Nichols’ thesis research found death records for 70 children but a site survey indicated additional unmarked graves, including some that were not in the cemetery.

The Brandon project team received funding in April 2019 from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to pursue the project but the work was interrupted by the pandemic. While the impact of COVID-19 has created challenges for the project and prevented community gatherings and ceremonies, collaborators plan to reach out to affected communities when everyone can meet safely.

“Despite the associated ethical, legal and logistical challenges, the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation is committed to ensuring that community-led research is grounded in culture, following the guidance of our Elders, and is conducted in a holistic and ethical way,” says Chief Jennifer Bone.

Following the wishes and requests of the respective communities involved, the plan is to restore the children’s identity, either through commemoration or repatriation.

“There is hurt and pain in our community today. However, I would like people to know that we are not powerless here. We have put together a world-class team of archaeologists, geneticists, physical and forensic anthropologists, and archival researchers. Our team brings together the kind of expertise that is needed to remedy this situation,” says Dr. Yellowhorn.

In a joint statement, the Sioux Valley Dakota Nation and the research team restate their recommendations to the Government of Canada about residential schools and related areas:

  • To implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action, specifically actions pertaining to missing children and burial information;
  • To fund long-term community health and trauma support;
  • To fund long-term community-based research across Canada;
  • To develop a centralized and public cemetery database and registry; and
  • To enact legislation to protect all residential school cemeteries.

Ultimately, the collaborators hope their efforts will provide a framework that can be adopted and applied by Indigenous communities, as a guide to initiate and proceed in their own process.

 “Through this partnership, we are creating a roadmap that can help Indigenous communities across Canada to navigate a complex system to restore the identities of children who never had a chance to live their lives,” says Dr. Albanese.