In March, just days before the COVID-19 situation erupted in Alberta, the Faculty of Health Sciences led the effort to present a special graduation ceremony for one of its own, nursing student Alysha Ramus (BN ’20).

Ramus, who has Stage 4 cardiac angiosarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer, was too ill to complete the last semester of her nursing program. Fortunately, she had accumulated enough course credits to graduate. Unfortunately, her continued ill health and intensive treatments at Calgary’s Tom Baker Cancer Centre made it unlikely she’d be able to experience the joy of convocation with her family and friends.

That’s when the Faculty of Health Sciences stepped in and made sure one of its own was properly feted.

“It really took a team of committed people to make this happen, both within our Faculty, and across the University. Everyone I approached said “Yes, let’s make this happen,” says Dr. Shannon Spenceley, acting dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences.

“It was very important to Alysha, her family, and for us in health sciences. From the registrar’s office to student affairs, the convocation office, the U of L Singers and our nursing faculty and students — everyone was amazing. I can tell you that in almost 40 years of nursing, this was one of the most meaningful events I have been a part of. It was a privilege to be able to make this happen for this remarkable and resilient young woman.”

Watch a Global News story highlighting the special event.