Okanagan College community produces convocation film for grads

Tribute to college graduates

Members of Okanagan College have made a virtual tribute to the Class of 2020.

Environmental Studies student Ajeet Paul's educational journey proved to be a time of personal growth and learning as a result of the whirlwind final semester he and his classmates encountered, as they overcame the challenges of graduating through a pandemic.

Paul is one of more than 2,000 graduates from Okanagan College's Class of 2020 and while his credential is on its way in the mail, he won't be able to don his cap and gown just yet.

Following a survey, it was determined that Okanagan College students were in favour of postponing the June convocation until a time when face-to-face events are deemed safe, rather than doing a virtual ceremony.

“It goes without saying that convocation is one of the most special times of year for the Okanagan College community,” says Okanagan College president Jim Hamilton. “And so while we’re saddened to not be hosting ceremonies right now, we congratulate all our graduating students. We are thinking of you, and we look forward to a day in the future when we can all get together, in-person, to celebrate your accomplishments.”

To honour the graduates, the college produced a convocation film with special messages from all walks of the Okanagan College community.

“Over the past few months, it’s been very heartening to see the way in which our students and employees have supported and encouraged one another. This video is one of many examples of that positivity and community spirit that makes Okanagan College such a special place,” says Hamilton.

Paul had made the transition from regular studies to online learning in March when the pandemic initially erupted. He says the situation reminded him of his first semester when he had to adapt to a new way of life as a first-year student.

Fortunately he found success by gravitating to the natural resource management stream.

“The program opened the door to so many possibilities,” he says. “The environment is so dynamic and so many people have different opinions on it. I had always been interested in the environment and not just reading about the science part of it but how people are affected by it, the impact they have, and vice versa.

“By my third and fourth semesters, I found my people and we ended up doing really neat projects together."

Usually Okanagan College would host eight ceremonies throughout the year.

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