Many people, including students, faculty and staff, have been asking about the university’s plans for one of the highlights of the year, spring graduation.
Today, I’d like to update you on our plans for this special event.
I love graduation. Seeing our graduating students celebrating with their loved ones, always fills me with pride. This is also a special time for our faculty members, who get to see our students successfully completing their years of study. It is a time of joy, a time of celebration and a time to come together as a community.
So, it is with much sadness that I have to say that, in light of the current circumstances, it is clear that we will not be able to hold in-person spring graduation ceremonies at UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan.
Given the advice and directives from the provincial health officer and from the federal and provincial governments, it would have been impossible to hold such large gatherings in person. You will still receive your degree, but it will be mailed to you.
This wasn’t an easy decision, and I know how disappointing it will be for you, your families, your friends, your professors; and indeed for all members of the UBC community. I too am disappointed that I won’t have the opportunity to congratulate you in person as you cross the stage. However, we will celebrate your achievements through a virtual event.
UBC is also committed to holding a postponed graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020, when safe to do so, that has all elements of a traditional graduation ceremony. You have earned this moment and we look forward to celebrating with you!
I cannot give you details at this time, but I can promise you that we will come together both online and in person to award degrees so that everyone will graduate as expected. No virtual gathering can match our in-person ceremonies, but I promise you, it will be special, and it will be meaningful, and it will allow us to celebrate you and your accomplishments.
As soon as we can, we will provide you with details on these events.
Rest assured that if you have applied to and meet the requirements to graduate, your degree will be conferred and mailed to you. (Please make sure we have your correct address. You can check at the Student Service Centre portal under Personal Info > Contact Summary.) Please also check the Graduation FAQs at graduation.ubc.ca/students/faq/and graduation.ok.ubc.ca/students/faq/
Before I close, I would like to once more thank all the members of the UBC community; for your patience, your understanding, your empathy, your flexibility and your selfless efforts during this challenging time. I have been amazed at the way the UBC community has come together. I am proud of you.
This a time of intense anxiety, and I want to remind you of the supports that are available. You can find information about these supports on the UBC website at students.ubc.ca.health.
And you can find the latest covid-19 related information and resources at covid19.ubc.ca/.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor