The Origin of Encaenia

The University of New Brunswick is one of the only institutions in North America to call its graduation ceremonies Encaenia.

Derived from the Greek word encœnia, meaning festival of the founders, the first celebration was held in Fredericton on June 24, 1830, at what was then known as King's College (later UNB).

Instituted by Oxford graduate Edwin Jacob, the first and only head of King's College in Fredericton, Encaenia was not initially a graduation ceremony. Over the years, however, the speeches and reports paying tribute to those who founded the college were gradually supplanted by the awarding of degrees and the honouring of students' achievements.