TWU Senior Vice President of Enrolment, Personal and Professional Development Brian Kerr, opened the Langley university’s virtual grad event on Saturday, May 1, with an “unboxing” of the celebration box that every graduate received by mail. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

TWU Senior Vice President of Enrolment, Personal and Professional Development Brian Kerr, opened the Langley university’s virtual grad event on Saturday, May 1, with an “unboxing” of the celebration box that every graduate received by mail. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Class of 2021 graduates, virtually, at Langley’s Trinity Western University

Pandemic required a different approach for the 774 students

Trinity Western University celebrated the class of 2021 through a virtual ceremony on Saturday, May 1.

In total, 774 graduates reached the milestone, with 597 achieving undergraduate degrees and 177 achieving Master’s degrees.

TWU Senior Vice President of Enrolment, Personal and Professional Development Brian Kerr, opened the online event with an “unboxing” of the celebration box mailed to every graduate.

It included a grad cap, a blue or gold cord for honours or honours with distinction designations, a book about life after university, “Five for Your First Five” by Allison McWilliams, a banner, a keychain and plenty of confetti.

Digital items include TWU Instagram filters with grad caps and confetti, which graduates can use in photos and tag on social media using the hashtag #TWUGrad21.

READ ALSO: New Langley community garden gets test run this spring at TWU

The grads accomplishment was not easily achieved, said TWU president Mark Husbands.

“You’ve accomplished something that will remain with you forever,” Husbands commented.

This year’s commencement speaker, English professor Monika Hilder, said graduates “have been given a gift of disruption.”

Quoting author C.S. Lewis she said in her address, “‘Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice.’ Life has never been normal.”

“You were born for such a time as this,” she said. “‘Courage, dear heart,’ the best is yet to come.”

Emmett Balzer, School of Education graduate, class valedictorian for undergraduate majors said online learning has been a struggle.

“It is hard to feel seen; it is hard to feel known.”

He concluded his speech with a challenge to his peers: “How can you intentionally make others feel seen and known?”

Amanda Birkenstock, class valedictorian for graduate programs said students persevered through the pandemic, “and you are still in one piece, stronger than ever, standing at the finish line.”

Two citizenship awards, voted in by staff, faculty and other students, were awarded to Monica Rawlek, and Samuel Corbett, students who demonstrated exemplary leadership.

TWU Spartan athletes recognized for excellence in sports and community service included Jarrett Fontaine, Hilary Howe and Jennifer Kits.

READ ALSO: KPU, TWU prepare to head back to campus in September

Professors Louis Bielmann from the School of Business won the Davis Distinguished Teaching Award, while Anne Redmond from the School of Nursing received the Provost Innovative Teaching Award.

In September 2020, TWU welcomed 4,774 students into its learning community a 6.7 per cent increase in enrolment from the previous year, and the highest fall enrolment in TWU’s 58-year history.

In March 2021, Trinity Western announced its plan for a safe return to face-to-face learning this September, while offering “an engaging student life experience, with the added flexibility of online and remote options, as best fits each student’s needs.”


Have a story tip? Email: news@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

LangleyTrinity Western University

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Melissa Vandergenderen, Sandeep Chahal, Niole Garfias and Sheela Veloo had fun attracting passersby to the hot dog sale downtown Friday, May 7, 2021. The event raised funds for the Langley Seniors Resource Society Adult Day Program. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley program fires up the grill Friday for hot dog sale

Adult Day Program helps seniors and people with disabilities to remain more independent

Three vehicles were involved in a crash on the afternoon of Friday, May 7, 2021, at the intersection of Fraser Highway and 208th Street. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Three-vehicle Langley intersection crash leaves car on its side

There were no serious injuries resulting from a Friday afternoon crash on a major City roadway

Squamish’s Niki Hurst and Christen Young took part in this year’s Furry Tails virtual race, a fundraiser for LAPS. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Friends take Langley animal shelter run to Squamish trails

Animal welfare group’s annual run goes virtual, raises $7,500-plus

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Constituent sides with Langley MP in conversion therapy controversy

MP’s words were taken out of context, says local letter writer

Tim and Janet Kreiter with a model Tim built showing the eventual plan for a five to 10 acre community garden the couple hopes to create in Langley. A pilot project is running this spring at TWU. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
New Langley community garden almost ready for Victoria Day opening

Organizers are excited to welcome the first gardeners

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushing B.C. to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

Most Read