UBC welcomes back 2020, 2021 grads for in-person ceremonies

Over the last week, UBC welcomed back alumni from the grad classes of 2020 and 2021 for make-up graduation ceremonies. 

Twenty-five make-up ceremonies were held across both campuses this month, along with eight ceremonies over the next week for 2022 fall graduates. After the virtual ceremonies held throughout the pandemic, grads were happy to be back on campus celebrating. 

Ana Ivkov, who received her bachelor’s in behavioural neuroscience in 2020 and a master's of management in 2021, said she “really wanted to have that opportunity to walk across the stage”.

“Ceremonies are important to feel like you're passing milestones in your life and the virtual ceremony just didn't feel real … and so when I heard that they really were going to be doing in-person ceremonies, I committed and I registered basically right away,” she said.

Post-ceremony celebration in the Rose Garden.
Post-ceremony celebration in the Rose Garden. Isabella Falsetti / The Ubyssey

She added that the ceremony felt like an important cap on the work she put into her degree. 

“I feel like out of all of my hard work, I've finally got something to show for it … you have people who you love in the audience who are watching you, so it just feels very gratifying,” Ivkov said.

Stella So, who graduated in 2020 with a bachelor of science in food, nutrition and health said the virtual ceremonies didn't feel like enough.

“It’s nice to be able to come back and visit … the virtual ceremony felt like something was missing," So said.

Graduates entering the Chan Centre for their ceremonies.
Graduates entering the Chan Centre for their ceremonies. Isabella Falsetti / The Ubyssey

After over two years, the returning grads have also spent time on campus reminiscing about their past time as students.

Ivkov reminisced about the camaraderie with friends during her time at UBC. 

“I just loved getting the opportunity to work with my club on campus and to hang out with my friends. Even when we were staying really late [on campus] working on things together, I feel like that was just the opportunity to make friends. To have those experiences with them were really some of the best parts of UBC.” 

So also said late nights were some of her favourite memories on campus. 

“It’s definitely got to be our midnight walks living on campus. We would walk around [at] two in the morning when we were stressed from studying. Those were probably some of the best times.”