TWUSA Drive Thru Graduation Banquet celebrates Trinity Western's Class of 2021, cheer grads with gifts and affirmations
“It’s a way for us to celebrate our accomplishment one way or another. It’s nice. I really appreciate it.”
— Angel Smith, BA Psychology with a certificate in Human Services (2021)
For a second year in a row, Langley’s university students have had their graduation season interrupted by COVID-19.
This time around, however, the graduates had a plan.
TWU’s student association, known as TWUSA, created an outdoor Drive Thru Graduation Banquet to honour the class of 2021. While the virtual graduation ceremony is forthcoming on May 1, TWUSA’s socially-spaced Drive Thru Graduation Banquet was held April 9, on a sunny Saturday afternoon at the university’s Langley campus.
Cindy Easterina, from Indonesia, was among the class of 2021 who registered to attend the outdoor celebration, which was open to graduates and those who wanted to celebrate with them.
“It means a lot to me, because my family’s not here,” said Cindy, who has achieved a degree in Psychology with a certificate in Human Services.
Cindy’s family had been saving funds to travel to Canada for Cindy’s graduation but could not come due to pandemic travel restrictions. In their place, Cindy asked TWU staff member Trina Pinzon, assistant director of Global Projects, to accompany her to the outdoor graduation as her stand-in family.
Angel Smith, from Vancouver Island, is graduating from the same program as Cindy. “COVID has taken away the fun aspect of being able to celebrate,” she said, but “TWUSA has done a really good job and Trinity as a whole has done a really good job at making us feel appreciated.”
“It’s a way for us to celebrate our accomplishment one way or another,” Angel said of the transformed banquet.
“It’s nice. I really appreciate it.”
Réal Boudreau from Nova Scotia is the TWUSA representative for the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences, and one of the event’s organizers. He explained, “because we can’t have a normal banquet, we’re having a drive-through.”
“We encourage all the grads to come through and have a great time,” said the fourth-year Biology and Business major, who was helping to distribute pre-packaged food and party favours to graduates.
Daniela Lombardo, from Mexico, is a fourth year International Studies major and this year’s TWUSA president. She said that the purpose of the event is to celebrate graduating students.
“It’s important to help students feel closure within their degree,” she said.
Saturday’s Drive Thru Graduation Banquet stretched along TWU’s Langley campus walkway and consisted of ten different pit stops. Every academic department hosted their own outdoor station, greeting graduates and their families and giving away gifts. Gifts included potted plants, mugs, edible goodies and TWU-namesake souvenirs. Graduates and guests visited each station on foot or drove by slowly in their cars, while being cheered by faculty and classmates along the way.
The finale of the outdoor banquet included a livestream program on TWUSA’s YouTube channel, featuring speeches and a video montage created by the TWU Pillar yearbook team.
See also: Read this story in the Langley Advance Times.
About Trinity Western University
Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is Canada’s premier Christian liberal arts university dedicated to equipping students to establish meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. It is a fully accredited research institution offering liberal arts and sciences, as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has five campuses and locations: Langley, Richmond-Lansdowne, Richmond-Minoru, Ottawa, and Bellingham, WA. TWU emphasizes academic excellence, research, and student engagement in a vital faith community committed to forming leaders to have a transformational impact on culture. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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