IMMACULATA UNIVERSITY, PA — The coronavirus pandemic may have kept Immaculata University from holding its traditional commencement ceremonies this May, but it has not kept the IU community from celebrating the 532 undergraduates and graduates of the class of 2020.
“Commencement is the result of years of hard work from not just students, but their families and other loved ones,” wrote Immaculata’s President Barbara Lettiere ’72 in an email to graduating students. “I am as heartbroken as you are that your final months at Immaculata were so impacted by the global COVID-19 crisis.”
Immaculata’s virtual celebration of the class of 2020 will take place on Saturday, May 16 as a forerunner to the in-person commencement ceremonies to be held at a later date when it is deemed safe to gather in groups. The virtual celebration will include a video of Lettiere’s address to the graduates followed by a display of each graduating student’s name and congratulatory messages from faculty and staff.
On its website, www.immaculata.edu, Immaculata will share the stories of three graduating students, representing each of the university’s three colleges — an undergraduate criminology major, an adult undergraduate allied health major, and a Master of Science in Nursing graduate student. These are just a few examples of how students displayed resilience and determination in adapting to the unexpected shift to online learning and successfully completing the final semester of his or her degree program.
Various academic and campus life departments have also participated in the university-wide effort to celebrate Immaculata’s graduates. The division of nursing held a virtual pinning ceremony to welcome Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates into the profession. Immaculata’s alumni relations staff asked alumni to share messages of congratulations and encouragement with the university’s newest graduates. Graduating students celebrated their own educational journeys by submitting videos of their favorite memories at Immaculata and their plans for the future.
Lettiere concluded her email to graduates by saying, “Congratulations to the resilient class of 2020! I look forward to our future celebration on campus.”
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