Graduates filed into the Columbia Bible College chapel to receive their diplomas Sept. 18, five months after completing the 2020-2021 academic year. Commencement had been delayed from the spring due to the pandemic. All 2021 graduates had been invited to return to campus for the event, with one-third attending in person. The ceremony was also livestreamed.
“Of those that attended, the majority were our degree graduates, although there were a number of certificate and diploma grads as well,” says academic dean Gil Dueck. “Of note, given the ongoing pandemic, we graduated our first class of health-care assistants who are trained to work in long-term care homes.”
Bryan Born, president of CBC, gave the commencement address, while the valedictory address was by Justin Spencer. Due to B.C. Public Health COVID-19 protocols, attendance was restricted to graduates plus two guests each. Masks were required in public spaces, but graduates were permitted to remove their masks as they walked across the stage for pictures. A dessert reception was held following the ceremony.
“Overall, we have heard a lot of positive feedback from students who were grateful to be able to mark their completion during this unusual season, says Dueck. “While it looked different than a typical graduation ceremony, there was a noticeable sense of joy that permeated the day. Students were glad to be reunited with classmates and to celebrate how God has sustained them as they completed their programs. As a college, we were grateful to celebrate the achievement and resilience of our students.”
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