The Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal has long been a symbol of academic excellence: established in 1979, the award was previously exclusive to students in vocational and career programs of less than two years and focused on academic excellence and community service.
In 2019, eligibility for the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal has been expanded to recognize post-secondary students with outstanding contributions in support of inclusion, democracy or reconciliation, on or off campus, and now includes students in diploma and degree programs.
One of the roles of the Lieutenant Governor is to profile excellence and promote the history, culture and achievements of all British Columbians. One way is to recognize the accomplishments of British Columbians is through award programs that carry the name of the Lieutenant Governor, that reflect the themes and priorities she will promote throughout her mandate.
Regarding the new medal, the Honourable Janet Austin explains, “It is important to acknowledge the exceptional contributions of students attending our universities, colleges and other post-secondary institutions. Students are helping to create a more welcoming and supportive environment, standing up for those who are more vulnerable and advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.”
The three award criteria for the Lieutenant Governor’s Medal are:
* Diversity and Inclusion: This award recognizes students who have promoted diversity and inclusion. Students must demonstrate strong collaboration and unifying efforts, through the promotion and display of tolerance and respect for others.
* Democracy and Citizenship: This award recognizes students who have strengthened democracy through civic engagement or the advancement of human rights. Students must demonstrate recognition of the fundamental rights and dignity of all persons at a local, national or global level.
* Reconciliation: In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada urgently called on Canadians to take action to transform society by establishing a renewed relationship with Indigenous peoples. This award recognizes students who have answered this call to reconciliation and are undertaking efforts to heal their communities.
Nominees are chosen by the public post-secondary institution they attend. The medal is presented by the Lieutenant Governor, when possible, at either spring or fall convocation, with up to 25 students a year receiving the award.