Governor General’s Academic Medal – Collegiate Bronze

This medal is made available annually, and is awarded to the student who achieves the highest academic standing, upon graduation from a two year Diploma program at Vancouver Island University.

I am incredibly honoured to have been selected to receive this medal for the 2020 year at Vancouver Island University. Here are a few select images of the medal:

Award document
Full view of the medals crest

Included with the medal is a small booklet containing information about the crest and our the history of the award. Here is a direct copy-paste of how it breaks down the crest:


The wing at the centre of the coat of arms conveys the notions of exploration, liberty, and safety. It also alludes to Ms. Payette’s career as an aviator and astronaut. The Royal Crown symbolizes the vice regal office and service to Canada,

Above the shield, the astronaut’s helmet represents the quest for knowledge extending beyond the frontiers of the known world. The bar of music symbolizes creativity and virtuosity. These notes of Alessandro Marcello’s Oboe Concerto in D Minor evoke Ms. Payette’s lifelong interest in music.

The motto, which means “Through hardship to the stars, highlights the importance of perseverance and effort. The Canada lynx, proud, agile and strong, represent the people of this country. Around their necks, the stars symbolize the spark which inspires the drive to excel, while the laurel leaves – laurier in French refer to the name of Ms. Payette’s son, Laurier. The Earth, represented here as Ms. Payette saw it from space, remains to this day the only place where humans can live. Sigma (2), the mathematical symbol for the sum, symbolizes the power of facts and of science, and reminds us that we share the Earth and have a collective responsibility to care for it.

Governor General Julie Payette portrait