Dear members of the UBC community. I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.
What a difference a year makes. This time last year, the Vancouver campus was alive with the excitement of graduation – as thousands of graduates and their families came to UBC to celebrate. And students, faculty and staff in Kelowna were busy preparing graduation ceremonies at the UBC Okanagan campus.
Right now, both campuses are quiet, but I’ve been busy – as have many others – preparing for the virtual graduation ceremonies which will take place in just a few short weeks on June 17.
I know it’s not the graduation celebration we originally hoped for, but it will be memorable. It will be special. And we will come together to celebrate in person when it’s safe to do so.
Because the ceremony will be virtual, everyone – not just graduates and their families – can participate and celebrate the achievements of our amazing students. I hope you’ll join me – you can find out the details at graduation.ubc.ca.
UBC is also deeply committed to creating a meaningful and engaged student orientation experience for new students. We’ve started planning a virtual orientation for the fall that will be memorable and will be special.
I continue to be amazed by the ingenuity our students have shown during the COVID-19 crisis. For example, a student created her own virtual graduation in Animal Crossing – it even included an avatar of me – complete with bowtie.
Then there’s midwifery student Emily Baxter who identified a pressing need for PPE – such as masks, surgical gowns and surgical caps – for midwives doing home visits and providing home births to healthy, low-risk clients during the pandemic. Thanks to her, the Masks to Midwives initiative was born, and quickly gained momentum.
You can find Emily’s story – and more – at news.ubc.ca.
And now, I’d like to close with a UBC #songsofcomfort. Fiona D’Silva, a new graduate of the Applied Science Program in Chemical Engineering, created this arrangement in memory of her time at UBC. I hope this inspires all the new graduates and gives them strength, happiness and hope. Her #SongsofComfort is a mashup of Memories (Maroon 5), Canon in D (Pachabel) and the Graduation Song (Vitamin C).
Enjoy and stay safe.
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Fiona D’Silva, a new graduate of the University of British Columbia Applied Science Program in Chemical Engineering created this arrangement in memory of her wonderful undergraduate years at UBC. I hope this inspires all the new graduates and gives them strength, happiness and hope. Her #SongsofComfort is a mashup of Memories (Maroon 5), Canon in D (Pachabel) and the Graduation Song (Vitamin C).
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor