media release

Celebrating milestones & accomplishments at SFU’s fall convocation

October 04, 2022

As the leaves start to change, students who’ve completed degrees at Simon Fraser University are ready to graduate and begin a new stage in their career journeys. More than 1,800 students will celebrate during Fall 2022 convocation ceremonies on Oct. 6 and 7th at SFU’s Burnaby campus. 

Among them will be 30 graduates of the SFU Indigenous Business Leadership Executive MBA program, which marks its 10th anniversary this fall, bringing the total number of SFU IBL EMBA alumni to 147. They will be celebrating at the Oct. 7 (morning) ceremony.

They include graduand Dennis Thomas “Whonoak,” a member and elected Councillor of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Thomas has managed several band-owned companies, including the internationally recognized Takaya Tours, and led the largest solar panel project to date on the North Shore.

He also holds an MBA in Indigenous Business Leadership from SFU and is among Business in Vancouver’s 2021 Top Forty under 40. 
The convocation ceremonies will start at 9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on each day, beginning with graduands participating in the colorful and traditional SFU Pipe Band-led procession down the steps into Convocation Mall. 

The ceremonies will also see honorary degrees bestowed on four distinguished individuals – for their outstanding contributions to society in the areas of education, activism and advocacy. 

Each of the four honorary degree recipients this fall is being recognized for their work - from supporting trans, intersex and Two-Spirit people to championing the advancement of women, reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples and advancing social justice for the African diaspora.


Oct 6 at 9:45 a.m.
- Communication, Arts & Technology 
- Health Sciences
- Applied Sciences

Oct 6 2:30 p.m. 
- Arts and Social Sciences 

Oct. 7 9:45 a.m.
- Business
- Science 

Oct. 7 2:30 p.m. 
- Education
- Environment


Media are welcome to attend. Please contact SFU’s Communications & Marketing office to arrange parking and accreditation.       
Ceremonies are about 1 ½ hours in length and begin with speeches by Chancellor Tamara Vrooman and SFU President Joy Johnson. The honorary degree is then conferred (about 20 minutes into the ceremony) followed by the recipient’s speech. After a class valedictorian address, the formal procession of graduands across the stage follows.  


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 364 undergraduate degree programs and 149 graduate degree programs to more than 37,000 students. The university now boasts more than 180,000 alumni residing in 145+ countries.