Grand Ceremony during Pandemic - University of West 2021 Commencement

University of West held its 2021 Commencement on May 15th, 2021 with an outdoor ceremony. Through Livestream, international students were able to participate in the commencement online. Abbot of Hsi Lai Temple Venerable Hui Dong and former Acting Principal Dr. Zhou Quanyi were invited to the commencement in person.

The 2020 Commencement was canceled because of the severe conditions of the Pandemic last year. Along with the faculty’s hard work and CDC’s college reopening guideline, 2020 - 2021 commencement was able to be hosted on campus. The Commencement was started with traditional procedure Ode to Triple Gem, followed by the University Executive Director Ven. Hui Dong’s Prayer to the graduates.

The student speaker Jayjons Yap, who is a Malaysian undergraduates representative and the president of TAG Club, shared his words through Livestream. The other student, Shiao-Rong Kao, who is a graduate representative of Religion Studies, gave the speech in person. The successful Livestream commencement was able to bring the graduates and parents all around the world together and participate in the entire commencement virtually.

For the Academic Year 2020 and 2021, University awarded 65 Bachelor Degrees, 44 Master Degrees, and 6 Ph.D. Degrees. To practice the social distance guideline, students follow the contactless procedure to get the diplomas. Chief Academic Officer Jane Iwamura placed the diplomas on the stand, then students would come up to the stage to get their diplomas. The commencement ended with Chair and Assistant Professor of Buddhist Chaplaincy Rev. Dr. Jistsujo Gauthier’s prayer for students and faculty. (Photos by Xiangyu Zeng)