Aneil Agrawal's interest in science began with an early infatuation with frogs.
As a six-year-old Richmond resident, he pulled his family out of a restaurant
that was serving bullfrogs. Soon after that incident, the young ecologist transplanted
hundreds of frogs into a ditch he dug in his parents' backyard. Their habitat
was being threatened by development.
When Christopher Friedrichs speaks, people listen.
The history professor -- one of 23 faculty members receiving University Killam Teaching Prizes during Spring Congregation -- is well known as a passionate, insightful lecturer.
"He could read the telephone book and make it interesting," said one of his
students in an evaluation.
Students graduating at this spring's Congregation are the first to do so in the new Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.
The $25-million facility consists of a concert hall, a unique and flexible
studio theatre and a multi-purpose cinema linked by a two-storey glass lobby
and outdoor patios.
Fifteen students have been named Wesbrook Scholars, an honorary designation for outstanding achievement among undergraduates.
Awarded annually, the honour is reserved for a maximum of 20 students who
are nominated by their faculty or school and selected by a committee. The students
receive a certificate, a memento, and the designation appears on their permanent
Hungry for extra tickets to their graduation ceremony, students lined up for almost two hours outside the Ceremonies and Events Office before the doors opened at 8:30 a.m.
"Good morning dear," Joan King says to the first in line. "How can I help you?"
Unbeknownst to the tired ticketholder he is not only the first in line, he
is also the first student to receive an extra ticket to Congregation, ever.
And to receive it from Joan King -- the principal conductor of UBC Congregations
past -- makes it all the more special.
Twenty-eight students finished at the head of their class at UBC this year,
including recipients of the Governor General's Academic Medals for achieving
top marks in the Faculty of Graduate Studies (master's and doctoral programs),
the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science.
At UBC and other Canadian universities, gold medals are presented to students who have achieved the highest standing in graduate studies at both the master's and doctoral level.
Silver medals are awarded to the students who, in the opinion of the Faculty
of Arts and the Faculty of Science, are the best in the graduating classes for
the BA and the BSc degrees.
UBC graduate and retired B.C. provincial court justice Alfred Scow is among 10 distinguished individuals to be awarded honorary degrees by UBC during this year's Spring Congregation.
Scow was the first aboriginal person to earn a Bachelor of Laws (LLB), practice
law and receive a judicial appointment in British Columbia. He is credited with
performing a major role in educating non-aboriginal people about the legal,
cultural, social and historical issues facing First Nations.
The UBC Alumni Association has named nine outstanding individuals as winners
of its annual awards.
World-renowned wine writer Hugh Johnson constantly warns his readers not to become slaves to vintage charts. For even in a so-called non-vintage year, inexplicable quirks of nature allow certain vineyards to yield captivating wines.
To the men and women who coach UBC's 600 varsity athletes, 1996/97 could perhaps
best be described as a non-vintage year. Having harvested only a single Canada
West conference championship (women's cross country), 1996/97 won't be recalled
with the same reverence as other years, but to say it yielded nothing memorable
would be as grave an oversight as concluding that the last great Bordeaux was
produced in 1990.
Six members of the campus community have been chosen this year to receive the
President's Service Award for Excellence, presented in recognition of distinguished
contributions to the university. Each winner will receive a gold medal and $5,000
during Spring Congregation ceremonies.
Input from the campus community is being sought by the Advisory Committee for the Selection of a Vice-President, Academic and Provost.
The committee has begun its work and is interested in consulting with the
campus community with regard to the priorities for this position and the background,
experience, skills, and personal qualities to be sought in candidates.