Gautam N. Yadama, dean of the Boston College School of Social Work, urged BCSSW graduates to apply the “grit, skills, and compassion” that he said they have showcased during the coronavirus pandemic to work to create a better and more just world. 

“All of us in the social work profession must channel our efforts to secure human dignity with imagination, courage, and grit and make every life meaningful and worth living,” he told the newly minted graduates in a video created to mark the culmination of their academic journey. “Congratulations to you and your families on behalf of the School of Social Work at Boston College.”

The School of Social Work released the video on Monday to honor the graduates on the day that Commencent had been scheduled before COVID-19 forced Boston College to postpone the celebration. The university hopes to host a modified Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Oct. 11. 

In his remarks, professor Paul Kline compared the coronavirus to a destructive storm that has battered the “anonymous, forgotten, and wounded” and driven scores of people deeper into poverty and despair. 

He encouraged the graduates to venture into the storm to help the most vulnerable populations recover from the crisis. 

“You are called to be a sanctuary of hope and healing and safety for those who are wounded and broken in our battered world,” said Kline, who will retire in June after 27 years as a faculty member at Boston College. “Your faculty, who are your friends and colleagues, look forward to seeing you soon in the storm.”