Congratulations to the BCIT Graduating Class of 2021! On March 23, BCIT celebrated more than 3,000 graduates in the Winter 2021 BCIT Convocation Ceremony, hosted by proud BCIT alumnus Kevin Lim, Morning Host, 104.9 KiSS RADiO Vancouver.
This virtual convocation welcomed families, friends, peers, and mentors who have joined in honouring our graduates and their incredible accomplishments. Throughout the day’s celebration, our graduates heard from leaders across BCIT, special guests, Honorary Doctorate recipient Dr. Carol Lee, class valedictorians Brett Ballah and Samantha Bienias, and many of their instructors.
Congratulatory messages from the BCIT community
BCIT President Kathy Kinloch extended a double acknowledgment to all graduates for persevering through a pandemic – and completing their credential.
“Congratulations for staying focused on the long-term —and a huge shout-out to your parents, friends, and family who supported you along the way. They, too, deserve a special mention and thanks! I’m sure you’ll join me in also acknowledging BCIT’s incredible faculty and staff for their role in supporting your journey,” shared President Kathy. “As you return to your jobs and other responsibilities, your education will continue as we all enter a transformed, post-COVID world and ongoing rapid technological advancement. BCIT will always be here for you to help you continue to upskill or reskill, achieve your goals and experience ongoing success – whatever that looks like for each of you.”
“I am grateful to able to honour you today, though it is not in person, I can still see your light. Not only can you be proud of your hard work, resilience, and fortitude, for completing your programs during this exceptionally challenging time – perhaps it should be on your CV – completed degree during a global pandemic,” said Kory Wilson, Executive Director, BCIT Indigenous Initiatives.
“As a graduate of BCIT, you’re bound for exciting careers that have limitless potential and it is my hope you remain aware of the challenges our society and the world face – that you shine your light on reconciliation, racism, inequality, and that you make your part of the world bright and continue to strive for a better more inclusive society. Congratulations on this incredible achievement!”
Keynote speaker Dr. Carol Lee, CEO and Co-founder of Linacare Cosmetherapy Inc,, was recognized with a BCIT Honorary Doctorate of Technology, given to individuals who are widely acknowledged for outstanding and sustained achievement in their area of expertise. Dr. Carol Lee is strongly committed to the revitalization of this area through her roles as Chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Foundation and Chair of the Vancouver Chinatown Revitalization Committee.
“BCIT is an amazing institution of higher learning. Never stop learning. Your graduation is not the end but hopefully just the beginning of a commitment to lifelong learning. You and future generations will be forced to continue to learn and adapt because change is happening at such a rapid rate. And learning can take many forms,” she reminded graduates.
BCIT Alumni Association President Emil Bosnjak warmly welcomed the Class of 2021 in joining the growing family of 190,000 BCIT alumni who are innovators, creators, and leaders making a positive impact around the globe.
He said, “BCIT alumni are everywhere, in every sector, conquering today’s complex world. Our alumni are true examples of why BCIT matters. Whether you choose to work here in BC, across Canada, or around the world, we are committed to helping you succeed in your career and stay connected with BCIT.”
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Valedictory addresses to the Graduating Class of 2021
Valedictorian Brett Ballah is graduating with an Airport Operations Diploma. In his speech to the class, he shared how he came back to school for a career change – after being a journalist for 20 years.
“BCIT was the natural choice as it was, I’m sure, for so many of you. But when the pandemic hit, I had a lot of doubt. What would happen; how could we proceed; and could I learn online?”
He credits BCIT’s values to achieve excellence, innovation, and collaboration as key in supporting him and his peers in persevering through a pandemic and being job-ready. “When things get tough and don’t work out exactly as you thought they would, it’s our values that matter. Be resilient, work together, and you’ll pull through.”
Valedictorian Samantha Bienias, Diagnostic Medical Sonography Diploma, shared a similar sentiment.
“My Dad graduated from BCIT in 1982, from the Power stream of the Electrical and Electronics Program. He started work immediately after graduation and worked for BC Hydro for 38 years! He retired this year, the same year that my career launched – thanks to BCIT. Upon starting at BCIT two years ago, my Dad had four words to say to me: get ready to work”, shared Samantha. “BCIT has embodied those words for me from start to finish. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, each one of you powered your way through our program with resilience and finished with tremendous success.”
Words of wisdom from BCIT alumnus Kevin Lim
In wrapping up the virtual Convocation Ceremony, BCIT alumnus Kevin Lim left three words of advice with graduates, “why not me?”
“The world is filled with success stories…so why not you?”
Celebrate our Winter Graduating Class of 2021
Watch the Winter 2021 BCIT Convocation Ceremony video and join us in celebrating #BCITGrad2021! Visit BCIT Convocation to get more information on the BCIT Alumni Association, graduation photography, BCIT branded merchandise, and more.