Update on 2021 Convocation

Dear VIU community,       

Since mid-March, we have all experienced rapid and major transformation in our lives, whether in our learning and work environments or in how we engage with others. These changes have, naturally, extended to our convocation ceremonies. As you know, we held a virtual event in September, for those who were scheduled to convocate in June. We know that this was appreciated, as we received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback about how impactful and meaningful the ceremony was. 

However, I believe that public health regulations prohibiting large in-person gatherings will be in force for the foreseeable future. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to combine the January and June 2021 convocation ceremonies. As was the case in September, we will celebrate the achievements of our graduates with a ceremony that meets the public health regulations in June.  

This was not an easy decision and I wish things could be different. Convocation is an important milestone and reflection of our graduate’s accomplishments. Convocation is one of my favourite events of the year and I know that many in our community feel the same.    

When it is safe to do so, we will host an in-person event and those graduates who had an alternate ceremony will be invited to celebrate together. Then we will all take part in the traditions of convocation that I know are special, including meeting the Chancellor, posing for a photo with your parchment, and touching the lid of the Bentcorner Box. These actions not only celebrate the achievements of our graduates, but they symbolically connect all the VIU graduates with those who came before you and with all of those who will come after.   

We are still planning what the June celebration is going to look like. But I know that it will be amazing, even if different. We will announce more details about this event in the new year.  

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to navigate this different way of doing things together.  




Deborah Saucier, PhD 

President and Vice-Chancellor