Today, UNBC interim President Dr. Geoff Payne sent the following message to the graduating Class of 2020.
Dear Graduating Class of 2020,
As I outlined in my message to the UNBC community yesterday, the decision to move to a virtual convocation was based on providing a graduation experience to the Class of 2020 given the multitude of unknowns related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
It was a difficult decision based on information provided by various public health agencies.
We heard a number of suggestions of postponing to the fall or other dates but it is extremely difficult to pick a specific date because the future is unpredictable and we simply do not know if we’ll be back to normal in the fall. My decision was intended to provide some certainty and clarity to allow the University to recognize our Class of 2020 graduates this spring.
I have heard you and appreciate the constructive and respectful feedback. Through the course of my updates over the past few weeks, I have asked you all to adapt and change in the face of uncertainty and commended your resolve. I, too, must be willing to adapt to change.
Hearing your feedback and in acknowledgement of your challenging situation, I commit to holding a traditional face-to-face Convocation for the Class of 2020 once we have received the green light to safely hold events under the guidance of federal and provincial health agencies. We will also hold the virtual ceremony on June 26, as some students will be unable to return to campus after the COVID-19 pandemic.
We will continue to update you as details regarding the virtual and face-to-face ceremonies become available, and will continue to communicate with you openly and transparently.
We acknowledge that you’ve had to endure challenges this year; please know that we value you as members of the UNBC community and will do our very best to support you.
Once again, I thank you for your comments and feedback. I really do appreciate them.
Interim President and Vice-Chancellor