Shenandoah University celebrated its first-ever virtual 2020 University Commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 16.
This year, Shenandoah celebrated 1,270 graduates!
- 216 August 2019 graduates
- 320 December 2019 graduates
- 734 May candidates for graduation
Among these were 80 international students from 38 countries.
Watch the full virtual Commencement ceremony
Sharing video messages of congratulations and encouragement were:
- Gov. Ralph Northam
- Daymond John, of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” who will speak on November 13 at Shenandoah’s annual business symposium
- Virginia U.S. Senator Mark Warner
- Harlem Globetrotters Big Easy Lofton and Handles Franklin
- Retired American public radio talk show host Diane Rehm, who holds a weekly podcast called “On My Mind” and whose show “The Diane Rehm Show” was distributed by NPR
Gov. Northam acknowledged that although the world has changed, graduates can still control how they respond to these changes.
While these are tough times, these challenges also present opportunities. When our old ways of doing things break down, we have to replace them, and that means we have a chance to rebuild in a different way and make things better.”
Gov. Ralph Northam
Screech, the mascot of the 2019 World Series champion Washington Nationals, also sent a congratulatory shout-out video to Shenandoah graduates.
The ceremony included live remarks by President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D., and Provost Adrienne Bloss, Ph.D. streamed via Zoom and Facebook Live from the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center. This year, President Fitzsimmons presented the Class of 2020 with a recently purchased bright star from the constellation Taurus. The newly acquired star will be named “Shenandoah University Class of 2020,” and university officials are hopeful this will become a tradition for each graduating class.
I am extremely proud of and impressed with this class of graduating students. They’ve had to deal with the most challenging of circumstances, and not only have they risen to the occasion, they’ve surpassed all of our expectations. This star represents not only their ascent into greatness, but also how brightly they have shined during this time.”
President Tracy Fitzsimmons, Ph.D.
Members of the Shenandoah choirs and wind ensemble wrapped up the online ceremony with a virtual performance of “Oh Shenandoah.”
Students, family members, faculty and staff shared photo and video messages for the graduates prior to the start of the ceremony.
The in-person commencement ceremony is currently set to take place Oct. 18, 2020, in the James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center.