The pandemic put on hold graduation ceremonies for the members of the Class of 2020, but in July they finally collected their diplomas, along with the Class of 2021.
And they did so on a large stage that stretched across the field at Gillette Stadium.
Thursday, July 29, saw candidates from the College of Graduate Studies from both 2020 and 2021 honored, followed by the members of the undergraduate Class of 2020 on Friday. The undergraduate Class of 2021 capped off the four ceremonies on Saturday.
“It has been worth the wait to do it at Gillette,” said Cameron Ramos, ’17, G’20. “To have my name called out in the same place Tom Brady had his name called out so many times, it’s pretty special.”
President Clark tipped his hat to the students who had to persevere through more than a year of the pandemic in order to graduate. “Here we are, champions, sitting in a home built for champions,” he said. “Through individual and heroic action, we have arrived at this place to celebrate this moment … we have pushed back against the storm and remembered life goes on. We persisted.”
Similar messages were offered by guest speakers Therese Murray, former Massachusetts Senate president; U.S. Congressman Stephen F. Lynch; and Dr. Dana Mohler-Faria, president emeritus of BSU. Each was awarded an honorary degree.
Abigail Soares, ’21, the student speaker for the Colleges of Education and Health Sciences, Business, and Science and Mathematics, encouraged her classmates to never stop following their dreams. “We demonstrated an unprecedented ability to adapt and change, and that is what sets us apart,” the English and elementary education major said. “The only way to survive was to adapt, so we did, against all odds. But we didn’t do it alone. We did it through the help and support system of professors, staff, friends, family and peers, and everyone behind the scenes who turned dreamers into achievers.”
Coverage of commencement weekend was by Brian Benson and Heather Harris Michonski. Read their full stories at bridgew.edu/commencement