media release

Media Advisory: Celebrating SFU’s Fall 2020 graduates, president and chancellor installations

October 21, 2020

Simon Fraser University’s Fall Convocation ceremonies on Oct. 22 and 23 will mark the university’s second virtual convocation—and will begin with the formal (virtual) installation of its 10h president, Joy Johnson, and 12th chancellor, Tamara Vrooman (Oct. 22 at 9:30 a.m.).

The installation emcee will be Chris Lewis (Syeta'xtn), chair of SFU’s Board of Governors, member of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) Nation and an SFU alumnus.

B.C. Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin will administer the oath of office. 
The president and chancellor will be ceremoniously gowned in their robes of office. Acknowledging SFU’s commitment to reconciliation, and in respect of the Indigenous territories that SFU Burnaby resides on, the robes have been redesigned by local designer Beverli Barnes and now include Coast Salish motifs. 

SFU will also confer honorary degrees on Mina Shum, an award-winning independent Canadian filmmaker, and Sarah Diamond, an SFU alumnus and president emerita of the Ontario College of Art and Design University. 


Convocation ceremonies, celebrating graduation for more than 2,000 students this fall, will be livestreamed as follows:

Oct. 22 at 4:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m. - Faculties of Applied Sciences, Communication, Art and Technology, and Health Sciences, Arts and Social Sciences

Oct. 23 from 4:30 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Beedie School of Business, Faculties of Education, Science, Environment. 

View the full 2020 Fall Convocation schedule & watch the livestream
Faculties & Departments will also be holding virtual celebrations 

Honorary degree recipients:

Mina Shum, doctor of fine arts, honoris causa, (Thursday Oct. 22) is an award-winning filmmaker who explores the tension between family expectation and personal ambition, and between cultures and generations through her films. 

Her best-known film, Double Happiness is a coming of age story starring Sandra Oh. Her most recent film, Meditation Park, was shot in Vancouver and won the Toronto International Film Festival’s Circuit People’s Choice Award and the San Francisco’s Center for Asian American Media’s Audience Award.

Sarah Diamond, doctor of science, honoris causa, (Thursday, Oct. 22) is an SFU alumnus who became president of the Ontario College of Art and Design University in 2005 and transitioned into the role of president emerita this past summer. 

Propelled by her visionary leadership and commitment to inclusivity, OCAD U has emerged as an eminent leader in STEAM+D—that is, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math, Medicine and Design—with capacities in digital media, design research and curriculum. Last year, she received the Order of Canada for her “immense contributions to the country’s arts, cultural and digital landscape.” 


MELISSA SHAW, SFU Communications & Marketing 
236.880.3297 |  


As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities—Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey—SFU has eight faculties that deliver 193 undergraduate degree programs and 127 graduate degree programs to more than 37,000 students. The university now boasts more than 165,000 alumni residing in 143 countries.