The first time was when he graduated Sir George Williams University.
The second time he will be addressing graduates as part of a commemorative degree ceremony at Concordia’s Homecoming 2015 on September 24.
“I was told: ‘we’re choosing you because you probably won’t mess it up,’” chuckles Chetwynd, an Oscar-nominated Hollywood producer, on that first occasion.
Among his accomplishments, Chetwynd was appointed by American President George W. Bush to serve on the President’s Committee of Arts and Humanities.
Works such as Kissinger and Nixon — for which Chetwynd penned the teleplay — have earned him Writers Guild and Gemini Award nominations for outstanding screenplay.
“The reasoning [for being a valedictorian] is a bit different on this occasion!” says Chetwynd. “Now it’s more a chance to come full circle. To pay tribute to some remarkable and dedicated teachers who prepared me for a lifetime.”
The ceremony will recognize graduates of Loyola College and Sir George Williams, Concordia’s two founding institutions.
Returning for their 10-year anniversary are “young alumni” — those that received commemorative degrees in 2005, the first time the ceremony took place.
Leisha LeCouvie, senior director of Alumni Relations, explains: “The purpose of the ceremony is to remind graduates of these institutions that they’re an important part of our institutional fabric and present-day Concordia.”
While Chetwynd represents Sir George Williams, Loyola College has a delegate of its own: a former Superior Court of Quebec judge.