Saying she doesn't deserve the honour, the new chancellor emeritus for Thompson Rivers University instead encouraged 400 graduates to seek success in their chosen professions.
"I'm sure that my feelings at this moment do not compare to the feeling of accomplishment being enjoyed by the graduates today," Nancy Greene Raine said Friday.
A senator, Olympic gold medalist and the university's chancellor since 2005, Greene Raine was named chancellor emeritus in front of the latest TRU graduates during a ceremony Friday afternoon.
After hearing her many accomplishments read aloud to a gymnasium full of students, their parents and friends, Green Raine told TRU president and vice-chancellor Alan Shaver she doesn't deserve the title.
Instead, she said the day was about the students seated in gowns before her as they prepare to put the skills they learned at TRU to good use.
"They will no doubt become a credit to their teachers and the university," said Greene Raine. "They're now prepared for success in their chosen field and the betterment of their communities."
Greene Raine is proud to have been associated with TRU during its transition from the University College of the Cariboo, she said. And there are several people at TRU and in the community who worked hard to make that change happen.
"I share this honour with them. It's these people who made the university successful," said Greene Raine.
TRU was granted university status in 2005.
Shaver also praised the graduates and encouraged them to go out and make the world a better place. He asked them to have fun no matter what they do and carry that joy with them at all times.
"If you can't take care of yourselves, you can't help others," said Shaver.
Retired theatre professor James Hoffman was given the title professor emeritus during the ceremony.
Emeritus is used to designate a retired professor, bishop or professional.