The University of Victoria’s spring convocation ceremonies are underway and the week-long series of events will ultimately welcome more than almost 4,000 new graduates from the university.
The ceremonies kicked off on June 11 and will continue throughout the week at the University Centre’s Farquhar Auditorium.
The event, which marks the completion of academic studies for the 3,776 recipients of degrees, diplomas and certificates, will also use the occasion to bestow honourary degrees to five deserving individuals selected by the university.
Joseph Avery, QC, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws in recognition of his advocacy for deeply disadvantaged members of society. He was the lead counsel representing Gloria Taylor, pro bono, in a landmark case that led to the Supreme Court ruling on assisted suicide in Canada. Other notable cases included cases that struck down laws preventing same sex marriage, and those affecting both sex workers and those held in solitary confinement within Canada’s prison system.
Nicholas Kuhanga will receive an Honorary Doctor of Education for his tireless work to help creating regional learning centres in Tanzania. He has served as the vice chancellor of the University of Dar es Salaam, and has been an advisor for more than a dozen universities in Tazania and across Africa.
Sandra Richardson will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws. As the CEO of the Victoria Foundation she has grown the foundation’s assets from $20 million to $357 million, allowing the foundation to deliver approximately $1 million a month to organizations supporting community development in Victoria.
Robert Waisman will also be given an honourary Doctor of Law. He was one of the “Boys of Buchenwald, before being freed from the WWII concentration camp. He now dedicates his life to Holocaust education.He is a community leader, philanthropist, a president of the Vancouver Holocaust Centre for Remembrance and Education, and an educator who shares his experiences of hate, racism and indifference with thousands of students each year.
Included among the members of the class of 2018 are:
Yamila Franco, a biology student who shared her passion for science, technology, engineering and math with kindergarten to Grade 12 students across Vancouver Island as part of UVic’s Science Venture program;
Moutie Wali, director of technology strategy for TELUS, whose class project in an award-winning custom Master of Business Administration (MBA) helped the telecommunications company save $27 million;
and 14 students from the community of Chisasibi, Quebec, who have used UVic’s Certificate in Aboriginal Language Revitalization program to bolster the use of the Cree language among the community’s 4,600 members.
All of the ceremonies will be web cast live with social media posts tagged #uvicgrad.