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SFU cancels spring 2020 Convocation amid COVID-19 pandemic

April 02, 2020
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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Simon Fraser University has made the heartbreaking decision to cancel the 2020 spring Convocation scheduled for mid-June.

Instead, June graduates will be provided an opportunity to participate in expanded convocation ceremonies this fall or next spring. The Indigenous Honouring Feast that was also to occur in June will be rescheduled to a date later this year.

Convocation is one of the most important events in a student’s university education. It is a time for graduates to celebrate their accomplishments with their peers, mentors, family and friends. The decision was not made lightly and it reflects the seriousness of the worldwide fight against COVID-19 and the vital need for physical distancing at this time.

“This has not been an easy decision,” says Andrew Petter, SFU’s president and vice-chancellor.  “Convocation holds a special place in the life of Simon Fraser University. The opportunity to celebrate with family and friends is a highlight in the lifetimes of many of our students. And I’m deeply sorry that we won’t be able to gather together in June, as planned.”

Graduating students, who apply for graduation by Apr. 17, 2020, will receive their parchment and will be invited to participate in Convocation ceremonies in October 2020 or June 2021. The university will also host an online celebration in mid-June that will allow graduates and their families to gather virtually and celebrate.

Simon Fraser University will also welcome a number of distinguished honorary degree recipients into the SFU family. The prestigious list includes a Nobel Laureate and a Canadian rock icon. Every recipient has contributed to the betterment of society and has enriched their community, nation and world. Take a moment to read about them and their work.

SFU will recognize the honorary degree recipients at the virtual celebration in June and will celebrate them and their work at future convocation celebrations.

“None of this has been easy for anyone at this university. I know our students are already suffering as a result of the dislocation caused by the COVID-19 crisis,” says Petter.  

“These arrangements, while not perfect, are intended to provide our students receiving degrees and certificates this June with an appropriate recognition of their many accomplishments as graduates of SFU.”

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