Dear members of the UBC community. I would like to begin by acknowledging that I am speaking to you from the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Musqueam people.
Last week we celebrated our first in-person graduation ceremonies since the fall of 2019. It was such a joy to greet the graduating students as they crossed the stage, and to see their proud families gathered for the occasion.
I would like to thank all those who made Graduation possible – including the faculty, staff and student volunteers, the organizers and all the participants.
Special thanks to our colleagues at other universities who came through with graduation gowns and mortarboard caps when our own were held up because of the flooding. You helped make UBC graduation more meaningful to our graduates.
We were able to hold Graduation in person this year because of our success against COVID. The UBC community has really come through — almost 79,000 UBC students, faculty and staff have declared their vaccination status, and of those, 97 percent are fully vaccinated. The high vaccination rate, combined with other measures such as indoor masking, are helping to make UBC COVID safe. However, we need to continue to be vigilant and to follow UBC and public health guidelines.
And now, I’d like to put a call-out for nominations for the Envisioning Equality project. The project celebrates the accomplishments and contributions of exceptional women and gender-diverse faculty and staff at UBC through art in public spaces. The selected nominees — five staff members and five faculty members — will be featured on a series of artistic banners, designed by local artists, on UBC campus.
Nominations are being accepted until December 20. If there’s someone you’d like to nominate, you can do so at bit.ly/nominateubc
Finally, this week’s unsung hero is Brayden Fishhook. Brayden is a fourth-year student in the Southern Medical Program at UBC Okanagan. Taking shelter in Hope during the recent devastating floods, he volunteered at the local hospital, helping UBC clinical instructor Dr. Beth Watt provide non-urgent medical needs for other stranded travellers. The next day, he and Dr. Watt resumed their efforts, working out of a makeshift medical clinic, where they assessed and assisted patients. Thank you, Brayden; UBC is proud of you.
Best wishes and stay safe, everyone.
Santa J. Ono
President and Vice-Chancellor