Office of the President

Andrew Petter, President and Vice-Chancellor

Petter's Perspective: Notes from the President

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Congratulations to the class of 2019

June 10, 2019

Convocation is a special time at Simon Fraser University – the skirling of the bagpipes, the congregation of friends, family and special guests, the parade of academic gowns gliding across the AQ reflection pond.

Congratulations to our graduates! This week we celebrate your achievements, acknowledge your hard work, and contemplate the unlimited possibilities of your future.

In addition to eight convocation ceremonies involving our eight faculties, SFU will hold an Indigenous Honouring Feast in recognition of the 164 Indigenous students who earned credentials in the 2018-19 academic year. This record number of Indigenous graduates includes five PhDs, 67 master’s degrees, and 60 graduates from our Indigenous language cohort.

We couldn’t be prouder of these and all our newest SFU alumni.

Also this week, SFU will confer honorary degrees on six extraordinary individuals:

Norman Armour (Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa): Cultural visionary, arts advocate and interdisciplinary artist who has spent the past three decades creating a vibrant arts community in Vancouver.

Chief Robert Joseph (Doctor of Laws, honoris causa): Hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation and a peace-builder who has devoted his life to promoting reconciliation amongst Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Ruby Peter (Sti’tum’at) (Doctor of Laws, honoris causa): Coast Salish elder who for six decades has brought her love of Hul’q’umi’num’ cultural traditions to her language teaching and linguistic research.

Joseph Schwarcz (Doctor of Science, honoris causa): McGill University professor and award-winning chemist who shares his passion for science through informative and entertaining public lectures, media appearances, and numerous books.

Dava Sobel (Doctor of Science, honoris causa): Award-winning science reporter and author whose many best-selling books have made an outstanding contribution to the public’s understanding and appreciation of science, and of the role of women in science.

Jennifer Wade (Doctor of Laws, honoris causa): Co-founder of Vancouver’s Amnesty International chapter, and justice advocate who has devoted her life to championing human rights, social justice and education.

Finally, a shout out to the hundreds across the university who have been working hard to prepare for Convocation. From Facilities Services to Ceremonies & Events to Student Services, and many others in between, it takes the combined efforts of a large and dedicated team to make SFU’s convocation ceremonies so very special.