The Purcell Residence Great Room lived up to its name when hosting the Aboriginal Graduation Reception on the evening of June 6.
Graduating Aboriginal students and their families filled the space with laughter, good food and a program aimed at celebrating their success and looking ahead to the future.
“It’s such a special day for graduating students and their families. The Aboriginal Graduation Reception honours and celebrates student achievements,” said Aboriginal Programs & Services Director Adrienne Vedan.
Natasha Delorme was one of the proud parents in attendance as she watched her daughter, Nursing graduate Treanna Delorme, participate in the event. “It was awesome. I’m just sorry my mom and her other grandmother arrived too late to take part. It had good speakers, good food and a great atmosphere. I’m so glad she mentioned it and we were able to come.”
Human Kinetics graduate Cody Kenny and Bachelor of Science grad Colby Finney talked about their positive university experiences and how the Aboriginal Centre played a role in their success.
AVP Students Ian Cull and Margo Tamez, assistant professor of Indigenous studies, commended grads for their accomplishment and reminded them of the role family and community played in getting them to this point. Tamez was joined by other faculty at the celebration including Allison Hargreaves (Creative and Critical Studies), Patricia Lasserre (Barber School), Tirso Gonzales (Barber School), Greg Younging (Barber School), Vladan Prodanovic (Engineering), Edward Taylor (Health and Social Development), Susan Wells (Social Work and Psychology), Stephen Foster (Creative and Critical Studies), and Robert Eggleston (Creative and Critical Studies).
Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal Deborah Buzzard, Provost and Vice Principal Wes Pue and Gordon Binsted, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Social Development, were able to attend a portion of the event in addition to their other convocation commitments.
The event was also attended by on-campus partners like Health and Wellness Director Roger Wilson, Manager of Community Service and Learning Phil Bond and Sarah Campbell of Development & Alumni Engagement.
“I love the comfortable family feel of the Aboriginal grad ceremony. It gives families a chance to celebrate the graduation in a more of a relaxed family setting. It’s always one of my favourite events of the year,” said Bond.
In total, there were 33 Aboriginal UBC graduates this year. Some were unable to attend the reception due to other commitments. After the graduation speeches, gifts were distributed and group photos taken. Some grads took advantage of the Purcell Rooftop Terrace to socialize and pose for photos with their families.