The University of Prince Edward Island conferred degrees, diplomas, and certificates on a record 1,006 graduates as they crossed the stage at convocation ceremonies on Saturday, May 10.
The Class of 2014 and their proud families and friends gathered to celebrate in the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre for two ceremonies—the first beginning at 10:00 am and the second at 2:30 pm.
Newly installed UPEI Chancellor Don McDougall led both events while President and Vice-Chancellor Alaa Abd-El-Aziz gave remarks.
“Together—you represent over 60 countries—from all corners of the world,” Abd-El-Aziz told the graduates. “Each of you is unique—but today you become a greater force. Together, you are UPEI’s Class of 2014. And we are so proud of you.”
Four honorary Doctor of Laws degrees were conferred upon well-known Canadian industrialist Robert K. Irving; retired Canadian Armed Forces Major-General Matthew Macdonald; music educator and former Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island, the Honourable Barbara A. Hagerman; and community visionary and retired educator James C. MacAulay. Irving addressed the morning convocation, while Hagerman addressed the afternoon ceremony.
During Hagerman’s address, she asked the graduates to watch for life lessons in all that they do, and with those they interact with, and to find these “gems of wisdom” that are found sometimes in the most unusual and unexpected circumstances. “Cherish your family, your friends, your university and your community. Many people have helped you to this point—inspired you, pushed you, supported you, challenged you, and today congratulate you,” she said. “Think of them now, and remember them in the years to come.”
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine graduate Donald Buchanan of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia addressed the morning convocation as class valedictorian, while Bachelor of Arts graduate and Cornwall native Shannon Moore delivered the afternoon valedictory address. Moore is the third of her siblings to represent a UPEI class as valedictorian.
Moore spoke of the ‘pains and perks’ of University life and encouraged her fellow graduates to pursue what they are truly passionate about. “Among us today is a diverse group of people. The talent and the potential in the gymnasium this afternoon makes for a promising future,” said Moore.
UPEI held its annual Senior Class Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 9 where a number of prizes were awarded. The Governor General’s Academic Medals were presented during the convocation ceremonies by the Honourable H. Frank Lewis, Lieutenant Governor of PEI. The Governor General’s Gold medal (graduate level) was awarded to Master of Education student Thomas Vincent Hilton of Charlottetown during the morning convocation. The Governor General’s Silver medal (undergraduate level) was awarded to Bachelor of Science degree recipient Kristen Callaghan of Charlottetown. Callaghan also received The Polyclinic Prize for the student who has achieved the highest aggregate in the four years of an undergraduate program, as well as the Ambrose Kwok-Yau Lee Award for highest standing in fourth year of the Science program.
UPEI sends its best wishes to all graduates!