Rick Mercer

Comedian Rick Mercer will speak to UBCO grads online Wednesday.

Comedian Rick Mercer will deliver the keynote address when UBC Okanagan holds a virtual graduation ceremony on Wednesday.

Nearly 2,000 students are slated to receive degrees. Normally, the degrees would be handed out over several ceremonies on campus, but the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a change in plans.

“While the ceremony will be virtual, the remarkable achievements of our students are very real and worthy of recognition," said Deborah Buszard, deputy vice-chancellor and principal of UBC’s Okanagan campus, in a news release.

The grads include 1,600 receiving bachelor's degrees, 270 masters students and 45 who will get their PhDs.

Chancellor Lindsay Gordon will preside over the virtual ceremony. Buszard and UBC President Santa J. Ono will speak and graduates will have an opportunity to take a virtual selfie with Ono.

Students have had the opportunity to purchase graduation regalia, special graduation gifts, create a personalized commemorative graduation video clip, download congratulatory signs and sign a guest book with congratulatory messages, UBCO says.

The virtual ceremony will last 45 minutes and it will be livestreamed with a pre-show beginning at 2:30 p.m. The ceremony begins at 3 p.m. and a 20-minute virtual alumni reception takes place at 3:55 p.m. The ceremony can also be watched on YouTube, Facebook or Panopto, a platform that is accessible from many countries. To find out more, visit virtualgraduation.ok.ubc.ca.

This year’s medal recipients at UBCO are:

Governor General's Gold Medal: Mike Tymko
Lieutenant Governor's Medal Program for Inclusion, Democracy and Reconciliation: Dominica Patterson
UBC Medal in Fine Arts: Aiden de Vin
UBC Medal in Arts: Ellie Jane Fedec
UBC Medal in Science: Nicholas Kayban
UBC Medal in Education: Alyssa Pembleton
UBC Medal in Nursing: Christopher Popel
UBC Medal in Management: Amanda Campbell
UBC Medal in Human Kinetics: Madison Pows
UBC Medal in Engineering: Tyler Ho

Mercer received an honorary degree from UBC in 2010.