The Class of 2020: Challenges and Triumphs!
The ceremony may have been virtual, but the celebration was very real for the College of Health Professions Class of 2020. From computer screens near and far, students, faculty, staff, friends and families came together to congratulate the University’s 3,624 graduates, 190 of whom completed the College of Health Profession’s undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs.
Mirroring the pomp and circumstance of past commencement ceremonies, the virtual event included addresses from CHP Dean Dr. Harriet R. Feldman, Pace President Dr. Marvin Krislov, and Pace Provost Dr. Vanya Quiñones. There was a performance of the National Anthem by Alyssa Chambers’20, and messages from student speakers Heather Farley, Brent Cameron, and Tandieka Stephens-DeClemente. As graduates’ names scrolled on the screen in a virtual roll call, congratulatory messages flooded the feed below.
The Class of 2020 faced historic, overwhelming challenges in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic that forced college students around the world out of the brick and mortar classroom to online platforms. Many students faced the challenge of completing their own studies while home schooling their children. Many faced job losses and financial hardships. Some lost much more as the virus took loved ones. And many joined the frontline of the pandemic, caring for critically ill patients, while working side by side with other students and alumni.
In her address, Dean Feldman acknowledged their perseverance in a time of extraordinary challenge. “I am very proud of the way you have come together in the spirit of community to support and uplift each other. Many of you are already on the frontlines caring for patients; others are preparing now to join the ranks. This global pandemic has taken much from us ... but in return, it has given us an unwavering desire to band together with resilience and compassion to stop the spread of this deadly disease. And that is cause to celebrate indeed!”
This year also marks the College of Health Professions’ 10th year as a leader in healthcare education. Now, the anniversary will forever be linked to an unprecedented time in healthcare history and to the extraordinary Class of 2020, who showed their true colors as they triumphed over any obstacles in their path to success.
To the graduates, Dean Feldman offered, “My sage advice to you is to close your eyes and envision an amazing career and a lifetime of great possibilities. Then, put one foot in front of the other as you take the steps toward that goal. I am confident that as you create your futures, you will make the faculty and staff here at Pace and the College of Health Professions very proud.”
No graduation is complete without an “after party,” and Pace did not disappoint! A familiar face from past events, DJ Zeke led an Instagram Live virtual celebration for all graduates. While playing top hits and making beats, DJ Zeke kept the live video interactive. While sending shout outs to the pace community, students, faculty, athletes, the commencement team, and family members, he encouraged people on the comments feed to include a purple heart if they graduated. Even President Krislov dropped in to congratulate the Class of 2020 one more time. By getting people to tag their loved ones in the comments, DJ Zeke involved everyone in the virtual graduation party. All in all, it was a great way to end a special day.
Congratulations Class of 2020!