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UVic jumps in to help outfit UBC grads left without caps and gowns due to storm

Cap, gown delivery delayed by storm damage
Liz King (left) and Rodolfo Calero from UBC join UVic’s Jeanie Gunn in loading 600 caps and gowns onto a truck bound for UBC. (Courtesy of UBC)

The University of Victoria stepped in to help mainland grads get their diplomas in style this week after a shipment of caps and gowns was stranded east of Hope.

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The University of British Columbia published a release on Nov. 22 explaining that thousands of custom caps, gowns and hoods en route from Winnipeg aren’t expected to arrive in time for the university’s first in-person graduation ceremonies since 2019.

The small hurdle was quickly overcome, thanks to a handful of neighbouring post-secondary institutions which offered up caps and gowns. Among them was UVic, which lent UBC 600 black gowns for the grads.

The gowns were loaded onto a truck at UVic on Sunday, Nov. 21 and will be cleaned daily.

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In the release, Jeanie Gunn, manager of convocation and events for UVic, explained the collaboration was a no-brainer.

“Convocation is the culmination and celebration of many years of dedication and focus,” she said. “We know first-hand how tricky it can be to plan and execute a gathering of this size … It was an honour to do all that we could to help our colleagues at UBC pull together this special day.”

Despite ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and the province’s storm recovery, UBC director of ceremonies and events Liz King said preserving these milestones for students is important.

“When we see the pride on their faces as they accept their diplomas, it’s all worth it,” King said.

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