University Canada West celebrated about 2,000 graduating students at its Summer 2023 Convocation Ceremony on Thursday, July 20 and Friday, July 21.

Students were joined by family and friends, UCW faculty and staff, and dignitaries for the ceremonies to celebrate graduates from a student body representing 110 different countries.

“We made it!,” UCW Valedictorian Micaela Del Rosario Maglalang told the crowd. “Embracing growth is a harsh and brutal road but you rose above the challenges and chose discomfort over complacency. We understood that true growth comes from pushing our boundaries, confronting our weaknesses and seeking new opportunities.”

Four separate convocation ceremonies were held at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in downtown Vancouver, where family and friends from around the world came together to celebrate the students’ dedication and perseverance in earning their Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication and Associate of Arts degrees.

“Convocation is a moment for graduates to remember where they began and how far they have come. It’s a moment to recall the support from your great instructors who also serve as your mentors who instill in us a passion for learning,” UCW President and Vice-Chancellor Sheldon Levy said in his address.

Dr. Maureen Mancuso, Vice President, Academic, told students: “During your time here at the University, as members of a community of scholars, you have been free to explore and extend the possibilities of your own minds. You now trade that uncontained freedom for a different kind: the freedom to pursue new opportunities and challenges, which your education has made available to you, the freedom to apply the knowledge and skills you have accumulated to build a better life for yourself and a better world for all of us.”

This year, UCW had four Medal for Academic Excellence winners, including UCW Valedictorian Maglalang, who completed the MBA program with a 4.22 Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA).

Undergraduate Medal for Academic Excellence winners were:

Leticia Nogueira, who is from Brazil and studied UCW’s Bachelor of Commerce program. She graduated from the program with a 4.04 CGPA.

David Fernando Zambrano, who travelled from Colombia to study the Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication program at UCW. He graduated from the program with a 3.99 CGPA.

Angie Gabriela Sanguino Santana, who is from Colombia and studied the Associate of Arts program at UCW. She graduated with a 4.18 CGPA.

Nicoletta Romano, Manager, Library and Learning Commons, was honoured with the Leadership in Teaching & Learning Award for her demonstrated dedication and commitment to student-centred education. One endorser described her “as a tireless internal advocate for removing the access barriers that students face for course materials.”

“In a very short time, Nicoletta Romano has turned the University library into a dynamic hub for students, academic support and she is beloved by our students,” President Levy said.

2022 Sustained Excellence in Teaching Award winner Dr. Mostafa Nazari also spoke at Friday’s convocation.

“As I look out into this sea of aspiring minds, I see the future of business, innovation and leadership,” he said. “I see individuals who have worked tirelessly to acquire knowledge, skills and experiences that will shape their lives and impact the world around them. Today marks a milestone in your journey, a steppingstone towards a future that brims with possibilities.”

The ceremonies began with RCMP bagpipers Cpl. Bruce Coulter & Cpl. Derek Smith leading in the graduating students, a platform party processional led by drummer Sit-a-Luk Raymond Jones Peter of the Quw’utsun (Cowichan) First Nation and a traditional greeting from Rose Guerin, UCW Resident Elder, from Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) First Nation.

“As we begin to get settled in and prepare for what the creator has for you in the coming future, I would like you, the graduates, to take a moment to recognize and remember all the good people all around us, thanking your parents, professors, friends and family members for support and assistance throughout your education career,” UCW Resident Elder Guerin told the graduating students.

Cyndi McLeod, Chair of the Board of Governors at University Canada West and CEO of Global University Systems Canada, encouraged graduates to join UCW’s growing network of accomplished alumni.

“I can feel the excitement in the air today as we gather here from all corners of the world, united in our shared pursuit of knowledge and personal growth,” she said.

“This cohort of diverse cultures and backgrounds is incredible and your accomplishments serve as a testament to the transformative power of education.”

UCW Chancellor Mitchell Gropper, KC, shared his thoughts with the students.

“Thank you for putting your trust in UCW to prepare you for the challenges you will face,” he said. “You now join a growing number of accomplished UCW alumni. Keep the connections you have made at your time at UCW – and your connections with UCW.”

For more on UCW Summer 2023 Convocation, read the story below:

Watch The Summer 2023 Ceremonies

Watch recordings of the UCW Summer 2023 Convocation on our Facebook and YouTube channels.

Ceremony 1

10:30 am on Thursday, July 20

Ceremony 2

4:30 pm on Thursday, July 20

Ceremony 3

10:30 am on Friday, July 21

Ceremony 4

4:30 pm on Friday, July 21

Published on July 21, 2023.
Last updated August 18, 2023.