History was made today at UBC as the last graduating class of the university’s first 100 years crossed the stage to receive undergraduate and graduate degrees. Nearly 10,000 degrees were conferred at 29 graduation ceremonies May 20 – June 5 at UBC’s Vancouver and Kelowna campuses.
A number of significant milestones are being celebrated with Graduation 2015:
- UBC’s Faculty of Medicine Aboriginal Admissions program has graduated 50 Aboriginal MDs since 2002 — a target they had unofficially set to reach by 2020
- The first class of 30 physicians graduated from UBC’s Faculty of Medicine’s Southern Medical Program (SMP), based in the Okanagan
- The first UBC MasterCard Foundation Scholars graduated from a program designed to foster the next generation of African leaders
- The first class graduated from the Asian Canadian and Asian Migration Studies program, which was created as part of a tribute to Japanese Canadians who were forced to leave the West Coast during the World War II, including UBC students who were unable to complete their studies
- UBC Okanagan celebrates 10 years of graduates
The last graduating class of UBC’s first 100 years is a momentous occasion as the university gears up to celebrate its Centennial says UBC President and Vice-Chancellor Arvind Gupta. “As we mark the close of our first 100 years, we are entering a new and exciting century of transformation,” says Gupta.
UBC’s Centennial will be about renewing connections to its communities: 300,000 alumni; 59,000 students; 15,000 staff and faculty; campus residents; neighbours in Metro Vancouver and the Okanagan; and partners in British Columbia, Canada and around the globe.
“Through our continuing collaboration with our wider communities, we look forward to another 100 years of extraordinary accomplishment together,” says Gupta.
The Class of 2015 now joins UBC’s community of alumni living in 120 countries around the world. Many celebrated with their family and friends at the newly opened Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre.
At Graduation 2015 UBC also conferred honorary degrees on prominent community members including a former UBC president; a 95-year-old woman lawyer; a celebrated Hollywood screenwriter and producer; and an internationally renowned paleontologist.
Notable honorary degree recipients from UBC’s first 100 years include His Holiness the Dalai Lama, actor and activist Michael J. Fox and 76 Japanese Canadian students who were unable to complete their education during World War II.