The conferral of degrees is always the high point of the academic year—the culmination of our students’ intellectual and personal journeys. Tomorrow, we celebrate this milestone for the graduates of our Class of 2020 and thank all those who have supported them along the way.
I encourage you to join us online for our virtual conferral of degrees, which will be available for viewing beginning at 8:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow, Sunday, May 17. Starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow and continuing through the day, our individual Schools will be sponsoring a range of synchronous and asynchronous opportunities to celebrate their graduates, accessible from our Commencement website. We are particularly excited to share with you the more than 1,500 video messages paying tribute to our graduates that were submitted by students, faculty, alumni, parents and friends of Tufts from more than 30 countries around the world.
The COVID-19 pandemic created unique difficulties in the final weeks and months during which this year’s graduates finished their studies. They faced these challenges head on with resilience and grace, finishing course work through remote modalities and in some cases even defending doctoral dissertations via Zoom. As active citizens, many have also been leading efforts within their communities, sharing their skills to support the response to the crisis. And I know that many of them, their families, and friends have also been touched in sad and personal ways by the pandemic.
I look forward to welcoming this year’s graduates and their families and friends back to campus for a University-wide commencement ceremony when the pandemic is past. Fortunately, the deep bonds of loyalty and friendship that distinguish our university community have been there to sustain us as we have faced the challenges of this spring together. I am overwhelmed with pride and gratitude at how members of the worldwide Tufts family have stepped up in these difficult times. Tomorrow, we have a very special opportunity to celebrate together as we recognize our graduates’ academic successes and look forward to all they will accomplish in the years ahead.