media release

Media Advisory: SFU holds first in-person Convocation since fall 2019 on October 5-8

October 04, 2021

Note: media planning to attend ceremonies should contact SFU’s Communications & Marketing office  in advance to pre-arrange access, information about safety protocols, accreditation and parking - 778-782-3210 or To attend convocation, please be prepared to show your vaccine card.

Simon Fraser University is returning to in-person convocation this fall with its first on-campus celebration since fall 2019. Ceremonies will be held at the Burnaby campus October 5-8.  The event marks one of the first post-secondary returns to in-person convocation in Canada, after virtual ceremonies were held through 2020 and spring 2021 due to the pandemic.

Capacity for the event, held in Convocation Mall, will be reduced by 50 per cent with ceremonies that are scheduled over four days instead of the usual two days. Ceremonies will adhere to health and safety protocols, including masking, attendees having to show the BC vaccine card and smaller gathering sizes. Graduands will take part in the traditional procession into Convocation Mall, led by a member of the SFU Pipe Band.

A live broadcast will be available online for those unable to attend in-person and will be available on-demand following the conclusion of the ceremonies. Links to the livestream will be available on Oct. 4.

More than 2,200 students are eligible to graduate this fall. Those who graduated during the pandemic with a virtual ceremony will be invited to attend an in-person ceremony in 2022. 


Full schedules and details are available here.

Oct 5: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
Oct 6: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, 10 a.m. and Beedie School of Business, 2:30 p.m. 
Oct. 7: Faculty of Health Sciences and Faculty of Science, 10 a.m.; Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology and Faculty of Environment, 2:30 p.m.
Oct. 8: Faculty of Applied Sciences, 10 a.m. and Faculty of Education, 2:30 p.m.

Fall 2021 Convocation: 4 honorary degree recipients:

Catherine Clement, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (Oct. 5, 10 a.m.) is an award-winning community history curator, exhibition designer and dedicated volunteer. She has been fundamental in uncovering and sharing stories of Vancouver’s historic Chinatown and Chinese Canadian history.

Nurjehan Mawani, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (Oct. 6, 10 a.m.) is a lawyer, humanitarian and champion of human rights, inclusion and gender equity. Her groundbreaking work in law and policy transformed refugee determination to recognize gender-related persecution in Canada and internationally.

John Blatherwick, Doctor of Science, honoris causa (Oct. 7, 10 a.m.) is a trailblazing public health leader and widely recognized as one of Canada’s longest-serving medical health officers. His achievements include responding to the SARS epidemic and establishing the first non-smoking in the workplace by-law.

Margo Kane, Doctor of Fine Arts, honoris causa, (Oct. 7, 2:30 p.m.) is a renowned interdisciplinary artist and a major advocate for advancing Indigenous performing arts in Canada. 

The following honorary degree recipients from past virtual convocations will be recognized at the fall 2021 Convocation:

Wally Oppal, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (Oct. 5, 2:30 p.m.) is a former judge and B.C. attorney general, who has led five high-profile commissions on policing and is a ground-breaking leader in B.C.’s South Asian community. 

John Borrows Doctor of Laws, honoris causa (Oct.6, 2:30 p.m.), is a leading authority on Indigenous, constitutional and environmental law who helped establish the world’s first Indigenous law degree.

Herb (Jay) James, Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, (Oct. 8, 10 a.m.) is a charter student at SFU who, through his foundation, spent more than half a century providing free hearing screening and treatment, including surgeries to deaf and hard of hearing children in developing countries. 


MELISSA SHAW, SFU Communications & Marketing 
236.880.3297 |  

Simon Fraser University
Communications & Marketing |  SFU Media Experts Directory


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 144 graduate degree programs to more than 37,000 students. The university now boasts more than 170,000 alumni residing in 145+ countries.