Vancouver universities plan in-person ceremonies for pandemic grads

Nov 24 2021, 9:12 pm

Planning is underway at two Vancouver universities to offer in-person convocation ceremonies to pandemic graduates who missed them.

The classes of 2020 and 2021 had to accept their degrees virtually as COVID-19 halted many in-person gatherings.

Now, the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University say those students could get a chance to don a cap and gown in 2022.

“We did make a commitment to hold an in-person event of some kind when possible,” Matthew Ramsay, UBC spokesperson, told Daily Hive.

He confirmed that planning is underway, which includes determining how many students are still in Vancouver and are interested in attending. He said more details would be available for pandemic graduates in 2022.

“It’s definitely in the works,” he said.

Meanwhile, SFU is planning to offer an in-person ceremony for 2020 and 2021 graduates in May of 2022.

“Ceremonies are being organized specifically for these graduates and will be similar to the traditional in-person experience that SFU graduates are usually offered, which includes crossing the stage in academic regalia and being personally congratulated by the Chancellor, President, professors, family, friends and classmates,” an SFU spokesperson said.

The school also sent out an email to recent graduates this week asking them to take a short survey about in-person convocation.

“Planning is underway, but we need to gather a bit of feedback from you to help us organize a meaningful in-person experience,” the email said.


An email from SFU to recent alumni. (Submitted)

Daily Hive has also reached out to other Lower Mainland schools, including Capilano University, to ask about their convocation plans.

University classes have resumed in-person this school year with certain COVID-19 restrictions after the pandemic upended many students’ education plans.

This semester also brought the first in-person convocation ceremonies since before the pandemic. SFU led the charge by hosting the first post-pandemic in-person convocation ceremonies in October.

Over at UBC, ceremony directors had to get creative after its custom caps and gowns got stuck east of Hope when catastrophic flooding hit the province and closed highways.

Megan DevlinMegan Devlin

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