Osgoode welcomes the Class of ’26 and celebrates the start of a new academic year

Group photo of Osgoode's Class of 2026 on Welcome Day 2023, Aug. 24
Osgoode’s Class of ’26 poses outside the law school building on Welcome Day 2023.

One of Canada’s oldest law schools greeted the Class of 2026 on Aug. 24 with the return of some time-honoured traditions and the kind of welcome day that Armon Ghaeinizadeh wished he had had.

Ghaeinizadeh ’24, a co-organizer of this year’s Osgoode O (orientation) Week, Aug. 24- to Sept. 1, arrived at Osgoode in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. Many new arrivals that year attended virtually but some, like Ghaeinizadeh, ventured onto campus in person.

“We all had to stay six feet apart and were masked the entire time,” he remembered. “Even on the lawn outside at lunch, an administrator was telling us to stay distanced.

“It’s been wild to be planning this,” he added. “It’s kind of like our O-Week, too, because we didn’t get one.”

Ghaeinizadeh, who is O-Week co-chair with Daniella Mikanovsky ’25 and Grace Rao ’25, said this year’s events will all be in person. Mindful that the pandemic is not over, students have been invited to wear masks, if they wish, and are kindly asked to stay home if they’re not feeling well.

While this year’s orientation reflected Osgoode’s storied past, it was also updated to reflect 21st century values.

“We’ve gone above and beyond to be creative in ensuring it’s more accessible and equitable and inclusive than ever and not just pub night after pub night,” said Ghaeinizadeh.

Welcome Day and O-Week traditions that have been revived include tours of old Osgoode Hall in downtown Toronto – the site today of the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Law Society of Ontario – a Lake Ontario boat cruise and the old Osgoode cheer: “Ozzy, Ozzy, Ozzy – oy, oy, oy!”

Divided into four sections, A through D, the incoming class will also compete during O-Week for the coveted Osgoode Cup, going head-to-head in a variety of events, including a dance off, a downtown scavenger hunt, and Island Day games on the Toronto Islands Aug. 27.

Welcome Day highlights also included a fireside chat with Supreme Court Justice and Osgoode alumna Andromache Karakatsanis and remarks by Chief R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.

Chief Laforme, whose address included two of his own poems, urged students to never forget who they aspire to be in each moment. Incoming Dean and Professor Trevor Farrow encouraged students to take care of themselves, take care of each other and to take time for fun during the hectic three years of law school.