An integral part of the graduation ceremony is the recognition of academic excellence and achievement. Among the many honours awarded, there are some awards that are carry special significance as symbols of the highest degree of excellence.

Governor General’s Academic Medals (Students)

For more than 125 years, the Academic Medals have recognized the outstanding scholastic achievements of students in Canada. They are awarded to the student graduating with the highest average from high school, as well as from approved college or university programs. They have become the most prestigious award students in Canadian schools can receive.

Today, the Governor General’s Academic Medals are awarded at four distinct levels: Bronze at the secondary school level; Collegiate Bronze at the post-secondary, diploma level; Silver at the undergraduate level, and Gold at the graduate level.

Medals are presented on behalf of the Governor General by participating educational institutions, along with a personalized certificate signed by the Governor General. Students do not receive any monetary award.

See the Governor General of Canada website for more information including past recipients at

President’s Service Award for Excellence (Staff)

UBC presents the President’s Service Awards for Excellence and other staff awards annually, to recognize staff members who demonstrate outstanding achievement and excellence within the UBC Community.

The President’s Service Award for Excellence (PSAE) was first created in 1991 and has been awarded to 102 employees for their outstanding contributions to the University.  The recipients are presented with a medal and cheque at one of the graduation ceremonies.

For more information, please visit, including nomination information, past winners, and more.

Killam Teaching Prize and Killam Mentoring Prize (Faculty)

This award is made from a generous endowment provided by Dororthy and Izaak Walton Killam; recipients of the award are chosen annually from faculty who have been nominated by their colleagues, students and alumni in recognition of excellence in teaching and outstanding service in the area of graduate student mentoring.

For more information, please visit


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