History was made in Kelowna on Friday as 470 members of UBC Okanagan’s very first graduating class crossed the stage to receive their degrees in two ceremonies.
"This is a wonderful time for this university and this province," said UBC President Dr. Martha Piper, presiding over her final graduation ceremony. "This is an historic moment in the life of UBC Okanagan. By participating in the ceremonies today, you are broadcasting to the world that UBC Okanagan has arrived."
Piper encouraged the first class of graduates at UBC Okanagan to work toward a better world by creating a vision and then enacting that vision.
"Be assured that you are well prepared to apply your knowledge and intellect for the advancement and improvement of the world," said Piper. "Let your imagination show you how things might be better, and use your UBC Okanagan education to let that imagination become reality."
Piper, who will leave office at the end of June after nine years as UBC president, delivered her parting address in two Spring Congregation ceremonies attended by graduates from UBC Okanagan's Barber School of Arts and Sciences, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Health and Social Development.
Students in this year's graduating class made the transition from the former Okanagan University College to UBC Okanagan for their final year of study. "This is a very special day," said Brad Bennett, Chair of the UBC Board of Governors. "As members of the first-ever graduating class of UBC Okanagan, students deserve a very sincere vote of thanks -- for your patience, perseverance and your good will."
During the morning ceremony, an honorary degree was conferred upon Dr. William Bowering, a former Okanagan University College president, who expanded post-secondary education in the Okanagan.
At the afternoon ceremony, an honorary degree was conferred upon Jeannette C. Armstrong, considered North America's first Aboriginal woman novelist. She is the director of the Okanagan Nation's En'owkin Centre in Penticton.
In her address, Piper offered two translations of the UBC motto tuum est: "It is yours" and "It is up to you."
"The world you now enter is yours," Piper told the graduates. "The world is yours, but what you make of it – that is up to you."
Graduation Numbers by Faculty
|Irving K. Barber School of Arts and Sciences:
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Bachelor of Science (BSc)
|Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies:
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
|Faculty of Education:
Bachelor of Education Elementary (BEd Elementary)
Bachelor of Education Secondary (BEd Secondary)
|Faculty of Health and Social Development:
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)