It was late Friday afternoon on November 19 when the University of British Columbia (UBC) contacted BCIT for help as their graduation regalia was stuck in a courier truck due to last week’s storm and would not arrive in time for UBC’s convocation ceremonies beginning the following Tuesday, November 23. When BCIT Senior Events and Experiential Specialist Erin McInnis heard about this, she knew she had to help.
Erin and the BCIT Events Team swiftly packed up 1,000 mortarboards and shipped them to UBC by Monday afternoon – in time for UBC’s convocation ceremonies.
“We know how special and memorable convocation ceremonies are to graduates who have worked so hard to complete their programs,” explains Erin. “It was important for BCIT to help UBC to ensure all graduates are celebrated and acknowledged for their incredible achievements.”
“Obviously this is a minor inconvenience when you look at the tragic loss of life, and the damage and destruction in communities across BC,” says Liz King, Director of Ceremonies and Events, UBC. “Our hearts go out to all of those who are affected by the floods and landslides.”
As seasoned events professionals, Erin and Liz are always prepared for the unexpected.
“Planning for the first in-person graduation ceremonies since the pandemic has been challenging in its own way, but this fall’s ceremony has really been the graduation of the unexpected,” says Liz. “The most important thing for us is to make sure that it’s a wonderful experience for the grads.”
Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Douglas College, and Langara Colleges are other BC post-secondary institutions who have come together to support UBC in sourcing enough graduation regalia for graduates and faculty in attendance.
(Note: The photo at the top of this story was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
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