Years of hard work and study culminated in celebration for graduates, families, and friends at the University of the Fraser Valley at its June 4 and 5 convocation ceremonies, held at the Abbotsford Centre.
More than 2,400 students graduated with more than 2,800 credentials this year, with approximately 1,350 of them crossing the stage over the course of four ceremonies.
President Joanne MacLean noted that convocation is her favourite time of year.
“Celebrating the many successes of our UFV students is truly a pleasure for all of us on this stage and within the hallways of UFV,” she said.
“For we have watched you set foot on campus for the first time as new students; seen you transition from nervousness and uncertainty and perhaps even a bit of fear of the unknown, to anticipation and confidence and readiness all at the same time.”
Student speakers addressed the crowd at each of the four ceremonies.
Amrit Dosanjh, who earned a bachelor of arts in criminal justice, urged her fellow grads to focus on helping others through mentorship as well as on launching their own careers.
Bachelor of science grad Rebecca Robertson emphasized the value of supporters as students pursue their dreams.
Bachelor of business administration grad Micara Muir related her experience coming to UFV after some time in the “school of life” and studying at a U.S. university.
Bachelor of science in nursing grad Christine Drew spoke about the challenges of juggling parenting and pursuing a degree.
Honorary doctorates were awarded to entrepreneur Anthony von Mandl, community builder John Jansen, carver Francis Horne Sr., and writer Esi Edugyan.
Matthew Harty (master of arts in criminal justice) received the Governor General’s gold medal for excellence at the master’s level.
Perrin Waldock (bachelor of science) won the Governor General’s silver medal, recognizing excellence at the bachelor’s degree level.
Maria Pauna (graphic and digital design diploma) was Governor General’s bronze medalist for achievement at the diploma level.
And Leanne Julian (bachelor of general studies) won the Lieutenant Governor’s medal in recognition of her achievement in the area of reconciliation.
Dean’s medalists were: Lauren Westhaver (science), Emily Ross (health sciences), Laurence Brown (social sciences), Madeline Hildebrandt (humanities), Erich Petkau (general studies), and Taylor Nicholls (professional studies).
Earlier this spring, UFV honoured the following faculty and staff members with awards: Teaching Excellence (Joel Feenstra), Research Excellence (Irwin Cohen), Faculty Service Excellence (Seonaigh MacPherson), Inspirational Leadership (Adrienne Chan), Staff Excellence (Josephine Charlie and Michelle Vandepol), and Teamwork (Long Night Against Procrastination committee).
Three retiring faculty members were given professor emeritus status: Paul Franklin, Vicki Grieve, and Miriam Nichol.