Convocation 2019

Saturday, May 11, 2019
Dr. Olive Bryanton earned her PhD from UPEI’s Faculty of Education

The campus of the University of Prince Edward Island was abuzz with energy the last two days as staff, students, faculty, family, graduates, and friends celebrated Convocation 2019. The university conferred degrees, diplomas, and certificates to approximately 900 graduates in the 2018–2019 academic year.

The 2019 cohort included degrees from all eight faculties at UPEI. Proving that learning can happen at any age is Dr. Olive Bryanton, who was awarded her PhD from the UPEI Faculty of Education at the age of 82.

For the first time, UPEI celebrated convocation over three ceremonies held in the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre, Friday at 1:30 pm, Saturday at 10:00 am and 2:30 pm.

UPEI Chancellor Catherine Callbeck led the ceremonies; President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz addressed the Class of 2019 as a freshly minted group of global citizens.

“How does that happen? One way is that UPEI continues to be successful in attracting students from around the globe. This allows students from PEI and the rest of Canada to gain perspective by studying with classmates who come from over 80 countries, and make up 26 per cent of our student body,” he said. “Our students are energized through these connections, and then it inspires them to participate in international education and exchange opportunities offered by UPEI. As an international student myself, who came to Canada over 34 years ago, I am passionate about how this connectivity leads to globalization. I can assure you that these multi-cultural connections enhance understanding, inclusiveness, and respect.”

The University also conferred honorary Doctor of Laws degrees on three recipients, including Mr. Roger W. Warren (Friday afternoon); Mr. Albert P. Fogarty (Saturday morning); and the Honourable Diane Campbell (Saturday afternoon).

“I believe that we are here to fulfill our dreams,” said Friday valedictorian Marie Antoinette Pangan (Bachelor of Science – Nursing). “We are here because we wanted to prove something. We are the nurses who take care of people, the veterinarians who help animals and the graduate students doing their research. We are all here because this is what we love to do. We are also here because we want positive changes in our lives and the lives of others.”

“To the mature students, it takes guts to come back and take ahold of what you want to do with your life. I hope all of us can be as brave as you, I’m proud of you,” said Halen Sky (Bachelor of Business Administration), valedictorian for the Saturday morning ceremony. “To the students that struggled with their identity, whether it be accepting yourself or others accepting you, I’m proud of you. To the students who lost someone, that kind of event puts our lives on pause. It is incredibly easy to fall behind when grieving. I’m proud of you and I’m sure they are too.”


Hannah Creaser (Bachelor of Science Honours – Foods and Nutrition) addressed the Saturday afternoon ceremony. “Today we close this chapter in our story. We are entering the world with more knowledge than we had before starting our university careers. Do not let your learning stop here. Stay curious, inquisitive, critical. Hopefully it will lead us to exciting, challenging, and adventurous careers.”

UPEI held its annual Senior Class Awards at a ceremony on Thursday, where a number of academic and student prizes were awarded. The complete list will be posted in the coming days at 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 Dennis Makau (Doctor of Philosophy – Faculty of Veterinary Medicine). The Governor General’s Silver Medal (undergraduate level) was awarded to Stephanie Cairns (Bachelor of Science Honours – Mathematics).

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.

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