Graduating university is a huge accomplishment. Graduating university in the midst of a global pandemic? Well, that’s unprecedented. That’s why the University of the Fraser Valley is celebrating its 2020 and 2021 Grads with an unprecedented celebration, and you’re invited.
“Our grads have completed their education during a time of unexpected challenges. They’ve shown amazing resilience, and we’re so proud of how they rose to the occasion,” says James Mandigo, Provost and Vice-President, Academic with the University of the Fraser Valley. “We’re just in awe of these students!”
Before the pandemic more than 90 per cent of UFV’s classes were face to face, but students, faculty, and staff quickly transitioned to online learning in March of 2020. They navigated accessibility issues — many students rely on campus resources for computer and internet access, for example — and Student Services coordinated support for challenges beyond the virtual classroom. Services like food banks and mental health support areas saw increased demand. Some UFV students lost their jobs as service industries shut down, and many faced pandemic stress and isolation. Despite these challenges, the Grads of 2020 and 2021 studied, wrote essays, passed exams, completed practicums, and transformed their lives through education.
The next generation of front line heroes
UFV students come from a range of cultural and economic backgrounds, and through 2020 and 2021 they completed degrees in a wide variety of disciplines. Remote learning was challenging, but some of these students also completed practicums on the pandemic’s front lines. Students in the health sciences worked and learned in local hospitals and dental offices. Students in education learned to instruct online, and attended local schools for in-person education while navigating COVID protocols.
These and other changes have thrust UFV into a new era of education, and UFV Provost James Mandigo is excited for new opportunities in the years to come.
“The Fall 2021 schedule will offer our students even more access to our academic programming, with a planned 43 percent face-to-face, 26 per cent hybrid, and 31 per cent online classes,” he says. “It takes the best from what we have learned throughout the pandemic regarding the flexibility and effectiveness of online learning, while safely reintroducing applied forms of learning in the classroom that UFV has excelled at for decades.”
How to celebrate the UFV Grads of 2020 and 2021
- Watch the Virtual Convocation Celebration live on June 18 at 7 p.m., or watch on demand afterwards. The Virtual Celebration website will remain available for several weeks after the premiere.
- No Zoom required! UFVs Virtual Celebration will include ceremonial videos, inspirational student speeches, and you can send a congratulatory message to a UFV grad here.
- The ceremony celebrates UFV’s Grads from 2020 and 2021. Last year, 2020 Grads received a complimentary celebration box in the mail — that tradition continues this year for 2021 Grads! The celebration box includes a souvenir grad cap and tassel and your Alumni Pin— you can arrange other grad gifts at ufv.ca/convocation/alumni-association.