Starting a new tradition – Apples for UBC Profs

Some cultures have a familiar tradition where students can bring an apple to their teacher as a sign of appreciation. On October 29, student volunteers from Land and Food Systems teamed up with the Equity and Inclusion Office to create a new tradition at the UBC campus – Apples for UBC Profs.

Within a few hours, nearly 500 apples were handed out to students as they headed to class, with the promise they would give the apple to their professor. Several students opted to give the apple anonymously and others wrote a short note to accompany the apple. With two locations, outside the SUB and the UBC bookstore, a broad spectrum of students participated, from Arts to Sciences. The event took place during Celebrate Learning Week.

“Students bring many cultures from around the world to UBC and create a richness of diversity in the classroom. This also creates some challenges around how to show appreciation to instructors across cultures, “said Alden Habacon, Director of Intercultural Understanding Strategy Development who helped initiate the project.  “Some students come from backgrounds where gift giving is commonplace and for others it is not. At UBC we wanted to bring back the tradition as a way for students to show a gesture of appreciation to their profs.”

A quick look at some of the notes written by students showed positive and supportive comments: “For Dr. Bradley! #apples4ubcprofs – thank you!”; “Thank you! Mining is cool” and “Thanks 4 being awesome!”

Are you a prof who received an apple? Tell us about your reaction by email or @EquityUBCV on twitter, or


The Equity and Inclusion Office thanks the UBC community for its support including the UBC Botanical Garden and Apple Festival volunteers, Alma Mater Society, Campus + Community Planning, UBC Development and Alumni Engagement, UBC Recreation, and UBC bookstore.

Special thanks to Land and Food Systems and Agora Café for providing great volunteers: Carmina, Hussam, Jessica, Katie, Kellyanne, Kristy, Krystal, Min, Samantha, Stephanie and Tori. Additional thanks to the following student societies for promoting this event to their members: Arts Undergrad Society, Commerce Undergrad Society, Geography Student Association, and Kinesiology Undergrad Society.

To see photos from the event visit the Equity and Inclusion Office facebook page:


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