Yadama praised the graduates for adapting to life in the pandemic, saying they powered through countless meetings on Zoom and made the most of internships that were complicated by the health crisis.
“All of you are here because of your grit, courage, and tenacity,” he told the graduates.
The School awarded diplomas to 275 students this year, including 266 who earned master’s degrees and nine who earned doctoral degrees. Twelve students who graduated from the master’s program received named awards for their outstanding contributions in the classroom, the community, and their field of practice, and 19 students earned 4.0 grade point averages.
Following Yadama’s remarks, professor Tom Walsh read the names of the graduates, who received their diplomas, walked across a stage, and paused to have their photos taken with the dean. Even under their masks, you could see them smiling as they clutched a most cherished piece of paper, wrapped up in a gold and maroon bow.
Some graduates sported yellow lapel pins that said “2021”—keepsakes that will be sure to conjure up fond memories of this momentus occassion decades from now. “I got my degree in a pandemic,” they will tell their children or grandchildren. “I’ll never forget it.”
After students received their diplomas, Alejandro Olayo-Méndez, a Jesuit priest and an assistant professor, offered a blessing in Spanish and English.
“May God bless you and sustain you on this, your graduation day,” he said. “May the creator of this vast universe keep you safe as you go forth. May the almighty look down upon you and give you success in all your endeavors.”