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UCW graduates take centre stage at Convocation 2019

UCW graduates take centre stage at Convocation 2019

One hundred and thirty-four students graduated during the 14th Convocation for University Canada West.

Students, staff, faculty and dignitaries took part in the ceremony at the Italian Cultural Centre on July 12, 2019.

“Let me congratulate each of you for your achievement today. It’s a big step forward, a milestone each of you can share with your family and friends without whose unfailing support you would not be here today,” said UCW Chancellor Mitchell Gropper during his address to the graduating class.

The students from more than 40 counties saw their dedication and perseverance pay off as they earned the Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication and Associate of Arts degrees.

The grand ballroom of the center was filled with the graduands’ family and friends, who watched them walk across the stage. The event was also live streamed on the university’s Facebook page for family members who couldn’t watch the ceremony in person.

The Valedictorian for 2019 was Catarina Rodrigues Scheffer De Oliveira from Brazil. She earned a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) degree and was involved with a number of extra-curricular activities include volunteering and being a student representative on Academic Council. She also had the highest CGPA in her program and earned the BCom Medal for Academic Excellence.

“The struggle of being a student is not keeping your grades high, it’s doing all that while being an international student,” she said during her valedictory address.

“You got to pay your bills, rent, follow the rules of your visa, live with roommates, but we aren’t superhuman. We make mistakes. Nobody has a perfect pathway, but we made it.”

Anton Chulkov, from Russia, earned the MBA Medal for Academic Excellence with his 4.2 CGPA. He not only had the highest GPA in his degree program, but had the highest GPA in the graduating class.

UCW president Brock Dykeman addressed the students and provided both encouragement and motivation.

“You will have setbacks. Not everything will go smoothly,” he said. “Most of us fail at various things in our lives. Not every day is a good day but when we get knocked down, we get up again and we continue to do the things we need to do”.

Dr. Milan Frankl received the Distinguished Teaching Award. He was a part of the founding faculty at UCW in 2005 and taught the first five MBA graduates in 2006. At one point, he was also the UCW Director of Operations.

He has published 15 books covering a range of topics, five of those books were published in collaboration with his UCW MBA students. Dr. Frankl is semi-retired but still teaches online courses for UCW from his home in Victoria.

Dr. David Strong was the founder of UCW and its first president. He received an Honorary Doctorate during convocation. He is an accomplished academic and is the former president and vice-chancellor of the University of Victoria.

“My message is of thanks and congratulation to everybody, to you students for all the hard work you done and your courage which is what I said to the first graduating class,” he told those in attendance.

Dr. Strong also sits on several corporate boards including Artisanal Gold and Puddle Pond Resources Inc. and he is chair of the International Advisory Board for China Infrastructure Investment Corp.

After the convocation ceremony, a reception with refreshments allowed the new graduates and their guests to mingle, network and catch up.

Convocation is held each year to celebrate the accomplishment of the graduating class and wish them all the best on their future endeavors.

University Canada West is a business-focused university in the heart of downtown Vancouver. The university offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA), Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication and Associate of Arts degree programs to help students succeed in today’s ever-changing business environment. Email info@ucanwest.ca for information about our programs.

Written by Rafael Ramirez