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Media advisory: SFU Spring Convocation set for June 11 – 14

by pnationtalk on June 11, 201943 Views

Spring convocation to recognize largest group of Indigenous students to graduate from SFU

June 10, 2019

Simon Fraser University’s Spring 2019 Convocation ceremonies will take place from June 11 to 14 at SFU’s Burnaby campus. More than 4,800 students in total are eligible to graduate during this spring’s convocation.

Members of the media are welcome to attend all ceremonies. A media viewing area is located on the south end of Convocation Mall, just above the stage area.

Ceremonies will be held daily at 9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Each ceremony begins with a procession into Convocation Mall led by members of SFU’s six-time world champion pipe band. Honorary degrees are conferred at the start of each convocation ceremony.

WHAT: SFU 2019 Spring Convocation

WHEN: June 11 – 14, 2019, 9:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily

WHERE: Convocation Mall, SFU’s Burnaby campus

Media parking is available in the Central Parkade (see parking map)

Recognizing Indigenous success

Taking place the week before National Indigenous Peoples Day, SFU’s Spring Convocation will recognize the largest group of Indigenous students to graduate at SFU. Graduates will participate in a special Honouring Feast on Wednesday, June 12 starting at 5:00 p.m. in the West Gym.

The 164 Indigenous students are graduating from a range of programs, including 60 students from Indigenous language programs and 26 from the Executive MBA in Indigenous Business and Leadership. One student, Barbara Wilson, defended her thesis before friends and family in Haida Gwaii and is this spring’s oldest graduate student to convocate, at 76 years of age.

A total of 67 master’s degrees and five PhDs will also be awarded to Indigenous graduate students. An additional six honorary degrees will be conferred on two Indigenous and four non-Indigenous individuals whose exceptional contributions, at home and abroad, exemplify citizen engagement.

Honorary degree recipients:

Dava Sobel, doctor of science, honoris causa (Tuesday, June 11 at 9:45 a.m.) is an award-winning former science reporter for The New York Times and an author whose many best-selling books have made an outstanding contribution to the public’s understanding and appreciation of science, and of women in science.

Joseph Schwarcz, doctor of science, honoris causa (Tuesday, June 11 at 2:30 p.m.) is a McGill University professor and award-winning chemist whose passion for his subject, and for science in general, extends to interpreting and teaching science through informative and entertaining public lectures, media appearances, and numerous books.

Chief Robert Joseph, doctor of laws, honoris causa (Wednesday, June 12 at 2:30 p.m.) is a hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation and a peace-builder who has devoted his life to promoting reconciliation among Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Ruby Peter, doctor of laws, honoris causa (Thursday, June 13 at 9:45 a.m.) is a Coast Salish elder who for six decades has brought her love of Hul’q’umi’num’ cultural traditions to her language teaching and linguistic research.

Jennifer Wade, doctor of laws, honoris causa (Thursday, June 13 at 2:30 p.m.) is a co-founder of Vancouver’s Amnesty International chapter, is a justice advocate who has devoted her life to championing human rights, social justice and education, and to speaking out for those unable to speak for themselves.

Norman Armour, doctor of fine arts, honoris causa (Friday, June 14 at 9:45 a.m.) is a cultural visionary, dedicated arts advocate and interdisciplinary artist who has spent the past three decades creating a vibrant arts community in Vancouver.

About Simon Fraser University:

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded more than 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 155,000 alumni in 143 countries around the world.


Braden McMillan, University Communications & Marketing, 778.782.3210,


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