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“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”
– Maya Angelou
Dear graduating Explorers,
As members of the Class of 2020, you are coming to understand this quote, perhaps more than any group of graduating college students who has come before you in recent memory. You have moved through an unprecedented moment in our history with grace and determination. And now, as we approach the final few weeks of the semester, it is my hope you are doing well, staying safe, and continuing to succeed in these final weeks of your degree (#finishstrong).
Your final semester at La Salle has been disrupted in ways that none of us could’ve imagined just a few months ago. Perhaps the biggest disappointment in all of this is that we are unable to have your in-person Commencement, as planned, on May 9.
While we may be separated physically, it’s important for us to take a moment to unite in celebration of each of you and of all that you have accomplished in your time at La Salle. For those of you who are undergraduates, in particular, I remember well the day that we welcomed you to campus, almost four years ago. It is amazing to see that you are at the end of this chapter in your journey and I am certain that you have had this important date marked on your calendars for months. Since we are not able to gather in person on this day, I invite you to join us Saturday, May 9, at 11 a.m. ET for a virtual celebration of you—the Class of 2020. (Additional log-in details will follow in a separate message.)
Please know that this does not replace Commencement. We WILL gather in-person to honor your class when it is once again safe to do so. In the meantime, please join me, your classmates, your professors and our staff for this virtual celebration to share in the excitement that we all hold for you. Explorers, you have made a permanent mark on our University and we want to take a moment to celebrate that impact, as you head towards your lives after La Salle. We hope that your families – both near and far – will join us for this special celebration, too!
As we prepare for this virtual event, we need your help. I encourage each of you to record a short video (about 20 seconds) that shares what La Salle means to you or extends well-wishes to your fellow Explorers from the Class of 2020. The videos will be part of our May 9 celebration in a commemorative video compilation.
If you would like to participate in this video, please submit your video by Monday, April 27.
Here are a few tips:
Once you have recorded a video, here is how you can submit it:
The Class of 2020 is filled with remarkable students. Your academic accomplishments throughout your time at La Salle—and, most specifically, during these unprecedented circumstances—serve as a source of great inspiration. You have stayed determined and displayed unparalleled resilience. You are prepared to contribute immediately in your respective fields and make a positive impact in the world around you.
We had always reserved May 9 as the day on which to recognize the Class of 2020. While the dynamics and logistics may have changed, it’s my hope that this moment in time—much like the Spring 2020 semester—will be one that we will not soon forget.
Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D.