The BCIT Winter 2023 Convocation celebrated over 500 students across three in-person ceremonies this March. We are proud to have more of our students join our 200,000 BCIT alumni, and we are excited to see the vital contributions they will bring to their local communities and across the globe.
In one of the most anticipated events of the year, our graduates were recognized for their tremendous achievement by leaders across BCIT, keynote speakers from our notable industry partners, and class valedictorians.
Each ceremony begins with the acknowledgement that our campuses are located on the unceeded traditional territories of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Our graduates were then welcomed by the Indigenous Women’s Ensemble M’Girl, who performed a traditional opening song.
Despite hard snowfall earlier in the week, our graduates were all smiles as they received celebratory remarks from Dan Reader, Chair, BCIT Board of Governors, Paul McCullough, Interim President, BCIT, and Jennifer Figner, Interim Vice President, Academic.
“Your achievements are an inspiration to all of us and I am delighted we are here with you as you receive your well-earned BCIT credentials – a momentous achievement,” praised Paul McCullough.
To symbolize closing this chapter and moving on to the next, our graduates heard from representatives of the BCIT Alumni Association at the end of their ceremony.
“The Alumni Association is committed to helping you succeed in your career journey. So we invite you stay connected with us to grow your personal and professional networks at our events, including the BCIT Alumni Perks app” announced Jennifer Patterson, Vice President, BCIT Alumni Association.
Want to show your BCIT pride? Shop Alumni-branded merch including socks, water bottles, umbrellas, and more!
Congratulations to all graduates, their family, friends, and instructors!
Share your celebratory moments with us using #BCITGrad2023
Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 1:30 pm ceremony [video]
The first ceremony celebrated graduates from the School of Health Sciences. The School of Health Sciences provide many programs that are the only ones of their kind in BC, including nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance imaging, and radiation therapy.
This year, BCIT invited keynote speaker Fiona Dalton, President and CEO of Providence Health Care, to share a few words. With over 27 years of experience, Fiona is a highly respected and compassionate leader in the health industry.
“I remember one day back in England when it snowed really heavily,” she recalled. “And for a moment I wished that I had a job that didn’t matter – where we could just close for the day and go to the pub.”
She continued with, “And then I thought about what a privilege and honour it is to have a job which matters so much.”
Emphasizing the importance of health care professions, Fiona shared heart-warming stories about her patients, and reminded our graduates of the possibilities that lie ahead. “…right now feels like a pivotal time for the planet,” stated Fiona. “You are the generation who stand on the precipice of this new world and have the opportunity to use these technologies to improve the health of people and the planet.”
Wednesday, March 1, 2023, 6:30 pm ceremony [video]
Graduates from the School of Construction and the Environment, School of Energy, and School of Transportation were celebrated at the second ceremony. Not only is BCIT a leading contributor of trades, engineering, applied science, and natural science professionals, but we are also the only post-secondary in North America to deliver globally-recognized accreditation in all modes of transportation – air, sea, road, and rail.
Keynote speaker Randy MacEwen, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems presented his speech for our graduates this year. Randy began his career at a business law firm, specializing in corporate finance. In the years to come, he became a renowned leader in the clean energy space. With more than 15 years of experience, Randy continues to break barriers and forge innovative pathways to clean energy.
In his speech, Randy celebrated the bright future our graduates hold. “You will be the future leaders, experts in your fields, and you’ll have a massive impact over what happens over the next 30+ years” said Randy. “Each of you can make a huge difference.”
Encouraging our graduates to follow their guts, Randy reminded them on the importance of being human. “The road will not be straight. There will be curves. You’ll make mistakes, you’ll have missteps, and that’s okay. Failures tell us that we’re human.”
Our graduates also heard from Valedictorian Matthew Hui. He begins his speech by acknowledging the rigor of BCIT programs, praising our graduates for their “dedication and grit that it took to get here today.”
Matthew emphasized on three key topics: gratitude, resilience and understanding. He celebrated his graduating class for overcoming unprecedented challenges in the past few years. “From the world shutting down, going virtual, to global recessions, there was no blueprint or instruction manual for what happened over the last handful of years,“ stated Matthew. “That is something to be proud of.”
Wrapping up his speech, he reminded our graduates of BCIT’s commitment to inspire global progress. “We have a responsibility to future generations of students,” he said. “Invest in them and invest in your communities. This is the leadership that we need.”
Thursday, March 2, 2023, 1:30 pm ceremony [video]
BCIT School of Business + Media is one of the largest business and media schools in Western Canada with over 100 programs and 300 courses, available part-time and full-time. Similarly, BCIT has the largest Computing and IT education in Western Canada, offering over 250 courses and 40 different programs that can be completed both full and part-time.
Manpreet Dhillon, Founder and Principal Inclusion Officer of Veza Global, was the keynote speaker for this ceremony. With over 20 years of experience, Manpreet has paved the way to more inclusive and diverse representations in leadership.
In her speech, Manpreet recalled how she felt after graduating from BCIT herself. “I thought there was a particular path I had to take” she said. “Now, I live a life I’ve never imagined.”
As a BCIT alumna and past BCIT Alumni Association Director, Manpreet encouraged our graduates to dream big. “Determine what impact you want to make in the world” noted Manpreet. “It may take 20 years, so enjoy the journey while you’re at it.” At the same time, she reminded our graduates to keep in mind what really matters. “At the end of the day, it’s the relationships that matter.”
To close the ceremony, Valedictorian and BCIT Student Association President’s Designate to the BCIT Alumni Association Board of Directors Nolan Nordwall, congratulated his graduating class for their achievements. Noting the value of BCIT education, he reminded our graduates to practice gratitude. “You are lucky to be born the kind of person who can complete a BCIT program, and lucky to be born in the type of environment that encouraged your education” said Nolan.
Although we celebrated milestone achievements today, Nolan encouraged our graduates to celebrate their small wins. “But do not focus on the goalposts,” he said. “Put your head down and focus on the small improvements you can make every day. As you build yourself into the kind of person who achieves things, the achievements will come naturally.”