University Canada West (UCW) celebrated its largest graduating class ever Friday, July 16, with a virtual convocation ceremony.

Students, faculty, staff and dignitaries took part in the online ceremony celebrating 1,225 graduates from 38 countries.

“Congratulations first and foremost to the 2021 graduates on achieving your goal of obtaining a degree from University Canada West,” said Brock Dykeman, UCW President and Vice-Chancellor. “A lot of studying, reading, writing, and likely many sleepless nights went into this great achievement… For many of you, achieving this degree also involved adjusting to a new education system and a new country, so you had to learn to adapt quickly. This ability to adapt is a critical skill in the modern world.”

Graduates and their families, friends and loved ones tuned in from around the world to watch the online broadcast celebrating their dedication and perseverance in earning their Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communications and Associate of Arts degrees.

UCW Chancellor Mitchell Gropper extended congratulations to the graduates and their families.

“A congratulations to your parents, your family, your partners, your loved ones,” he said. “Graduation is a shared celebration. This time we are sharing it at home on our laptops, iPads and computer screens. Years from now you’ll be able to share the uniqueness of this graduation with others.”

This year’s ceremony also included a message from BC Premier John Horgan.

“Graduation ceremonies are normally a time of great pomp and circumstance and are a right of passage for students around the world,” he said. “It is an enormous milestone, and I want you to be proud of what you’ve been able to accomplish this extraordinary year.”

The Valedictorian for 2021 was MBA grad Marcelle Carvalho Athanasof.

“I am absolutely delighted to stand here today on behalf of all graduating students here at UCW,” she said. “After crossing days off our calendars and so much hard work, graduation day is finally here! This is our achievement, our hard work paying off… Congratulations on your resilience, perseverance and diligence. We did it!”

This year’s Medals for Academic Excellence went to Bahareh Abdolrahimi, who earned her MBA, and Lynsey Logan, who earned an Associate of Arts degree. Both also graduated with distinction.

The Distinguished Teaching Award went to Dr. Michele Vincenti.

Dr. Vincenti is a long-time UCW faculty member and the current Chair of the Leadership and People Management Department in the MBA program. He is active in the University community. He is a major contributor to new program development and has been instrumental in connecting UCW with organizations and increasing the number of designations offered to students.

Dr. Vincenti is known for creating a challenging yet engaging learning environment for students – focusing more on the process, less on the content taught. His courses are always designed with relevance in mind and provide students with ample opportunities for practical application to real-world industry scenarios.

To watch our 2021 Convocation Ceremony, go to our YouTube channel.


Published on July 16, 2021.