UPEI Convocation 2018

Saturday, May 12, 2018
Alaina Roach O’Keefe walked the convocation stage to receive her PhD in Educational Studies—her fourth degree from the University of Prince Edward Island

The University of Prince Edward Island conferred degrees, diplomas, and certificates to more than 950 graduates today as part of Convocation 2018.

 This year includes the first-ever cohort from the Bachelor of Science in Paramedicine. Convocation 2018 also saw graduate-level graduates from six faculties, and the largest ever cohort of PhDs to cross the stage at UPEI at 18.

The families and friends of the Class of 2018 gathered for two ceremonies today in UPEI’s Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre, the first at 10:00 am, and the second at 2:30 pm.

UPEI Chancellor Don McDougall led both ceremonies; President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Alaa Abd-El-Aziz addressed both ceremonies.

“Class of 2018, I know, you have bold ideas and aspirations as you prepare to make your individual marks on the world,” said Dr. Abd-El-Aziz. “Some of you may be starting a job in your field of study, or continuing your education through post-graduate studies, or perhaps looking forward to personal growth through experiences such as world travel. Whatever your next step may be I encourage you to continue to learn and grow—and most importantly to dream big! Your future is bright with endless possibilities.”

The University also conferred honorary Doctor of Laws degrees on four recipients: lawyer and advocate for UPEI William “Bill” LeClair; UPEI founder, booster, and volunteer Anne (Michael) Love; humanitarian, public servant, and business leader J. Weston “Wes” MacAleer; and, proud Islander, successful business woman, respected community leader, tireless volunteer, and mentor E. Anne Smith.

“Your platform is a tool for social good,” said morning valedictorian Nathan Hood of Charlottetown. “With it, continue to develop your personal, unique voice. Think about what matters most to you in your life and in your community and make sure that is reflected in the stories you tell. And never forget to use your platform to elevate the voices of others who need to be heard. You never know who is listening.”

Alana Jewell, from York, PEI, addressed the afternoon ceremony. “We have made it through the bumps in the road to our degrees and diplomas with the help of others by learning how to react to situations out of our control and by focusing on bettering ourselves rather than changing other people. These actions are a start to answering the question ‘what’s next?’ So, while we may not have the full answer now, our time at UPEI has equipped us with the skills to find out what that might look like.”

Chancellor McDougall conferred the title of Professor emeritus to two distinguished colleagues from UPEI’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine: Dr. Pierre-Yves Daoust of the Department of Pathology and Microbiology and Dr. Darcy Shaw of the Department of Companion Animals.

UPEI held its annual Senior Class Awards at a ceremony the day before, where a number of academic and student prizes were awarded. The complete list will be posted in the coming days at upei.ca/seniorclassawards. The Governor General’s academic medals were presented by the Honourable Antoinette Perry, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island. The Governor General’s Gold Medal (graduate level) was awarded to Gabriela Arias de Sanchez (Doctor of Philosophy—Faculty of Education). The Governor General’s Silver Medal (undergraduate level) was awarded to Skylar Tang (Bachelor of Science—Biology).

Congratulations to all the graduates!

The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.


Dave Atkinson
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