The University of Winnipeg



Meet our Autumn Valedictorian – Annie McBay

Annie McBay, © UWinnipeg

Annie McBay, © UWinnipeg

Annie McBay, BA(Hons) – VALEDICTORIAN – Autumn 2017 Convocation, Friday, October 13 from 9:30am – 12:00 pm

Annie McBay graduates from a 4-year Honours degree program in Religion and Culture with an impressive academic and research track record. She has consistently produced high quality research papers while maintaining a strong grade point average.

Additionally, McBay worked as a research assistant for Dr. Carlos Colorado and the Centre for the Liberal Arts and Secular Society (CLASS), assisting with the production of a documentary on religion, secularism, and public life in Canada. In her work for Dr. Colorado, she helped conduct interviews with a number of prominent leaders, including Senator Murray Sinclair, among others. Her confidence and poise in these settings was impressive — she was an effective ambassador for the project and for UWinnipeg.

McBay wrote an exceptionally creative and insightful research paper (Accidental Sufism: The Lego Movie and Ibn al-‘Arabi) in 2016. The paper skillfully highlighted the intersection of popular culture and medieval Islamic philosophy and was accepted to the American Academy of Religion Upper Midwest Regional Conference in Minneapolis. Another paper she wrote, Women of the Wall: A Religious Campaign Inspired by Secular Values,” was published last year in the journal Crossings.

In her words: “There is value and importance in studying the liberal arts. I have learned how to really listen, and engage in dialogue and interact with the world around me. I will now always be learning, beyond the classroom.”

McBay values service to the community. She has often volunteered at UWinnipeg and served on the Axworthy Lecture Series Committee for several years, which can involve intensive workloads. As the only student member of a committee that includes faculty and senior executives, she often steered conversation and demonstrated clear and impressive aptitudes for leadership and strategic planning. She also volunteers at the Fort Whyte Alive farm, and previously volunteered for the Rainbow Resource Centre, a non-profit that provides support for LGBTQ communities in Manitoba.

McBay intends to work for a few years before pursuing a Master’s degree; her aim is to pursue a career with a community-based organization.