By Lily Kane is associate director of communications with Vanderbilt’s Office of Development and Alumni Relations Communications and Services.
When Vanderbilt made the decision to postpone Commencement 2020 until May 2021, Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management quickly started developing alternative, virtual festivities for this year’s graduates, in conjunction with the university’s efforts.
In a matter of two weeks, faculty, staff and students had built an online celebration of the graduating class, awarded prizes, and reflected on the past year (two years for the MBAs). On May 7, Dean M. Eric Johnson revealed student and faculty awards via a Zoom conference. Faculty, staff and students celebrated their peers’ success, along with parents. Then, on May 8—the original date for Commencement 2020—Interim Chancellor and Provost Susan R. Wente delivered a heartfelt online address to students, culminating in the conferring of degrees. After the address Owen launched its Class of 2020 Celebration site, which honors the class, looks back at the past two years, and more.
In a congratulatory message to the Owen community, Johnson said, “It’s been a tough year, but this class has shown unprecedented strength and resilience. Now more than ever, it is important to recognize the accomplishments of our community.” Wente has formed an advisory group of 2020 alumni, representing all Vanderbilt colleges and schools, to provide feedback and engage in planning for their postponed Commencement celebration next spring. Owen’s representatives on this Commencement 2020 Graduating Student Committee are Emily Singh, MMark’20, and Carolyn Talaske Williams, MBA’20. They welcome all members of Owen’s Class of 2020 to reach out to them with their own ideas by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.
Here, Vanderbilt Business magazine celebrates the amazing Class of 2020. Cheers!
LEARN AND HEAR MORE:
Owen’s Class of 2020 Celebration site: vu.edu/owen-celebration-2020
University Commencement 2020 celebration and plans for 2021: vu.edu/celebration-2021
Commencement 2020 Graduating Student Committee: vu.edu/2020-committee
Submit ideas for next May’s celebration: vu.edu/ideas-2021