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Celebrating Dickinson College’s Class of 2020

Senior Celebration image

Senior Celebration image

Video by Joe O'Neill and Carl Socolow '77

With Commencement Postponed, College Celebrates Graduating Seniors With Video Tribute

Dickinson College celebrated the class of 2020 with a video tribute broadcast via Facebook Premiere on Sunday, May 17. With Commencement postponed, the video gave the wider Dickinson community the opportunity to congratulate the graduates during a virtual public event that garnered more than 3,800 views and 300 comments.

“This is not the spring I’m sure that you envisioned when you walked up those steps of Old West in 2016,” said President Margee Ensign in the video. “The world has changed overnight. … You are fortunate in that you have the education that is preparing you for this new world and for this new reality, and I’m proud of each and every one of you. I commit—and we commit as a college—you will also walk down those steps as soon as it's safe.”

In addition to the words from Ensign, the video included brief messages from numerous faculty and staff members.

“You might think the ‘D’ stands for distancing,” said Professor of History Karl Qualls, holding a Dickinson “D” hat up to the camera. “It actually stands for determination. Your determination to finish the semester, and our determination to celebrate with you on the steps of Old West when it’s safe to do so. Until then, congratulations to the class of 2020.”

Board of Trustees Chair John E. Jones III ’77, P’11, announced that Ian Genao ’20 (international business & management) had been selected as the Young Alumni Trustee. Each year since 2011, Dickinson’s Board of Trustees has chosen a Young Alumni Trustee from among nominated seniors to represent young alumni on the board and serve a two-year term.

Before ending with a list of the names of all the graduates, the 17-minute video gave members of the class the opportunity to reflect on their own Dickinson experiences.

“This whole time that I’ve been here, I’ve had constant opportunities that I never thought would come my way,” said Hannah Findling ’20 (biology). “I couldn’t have picked a better place to call home for four years.”

While Dickinson will make plans for an in-person Commencement ceremony in the future, this celebratory video is one of many ways the wider college community has come together to support the class at the time of their graduation. More than 100 alumni recently shared congratulatory messages, and last week many more responded to an email from Ensign asking alumni to help graduates as they enter the job market. Additionally, senior celebration packages that include diplomas and a few gifts will be mailed to graduates this week.


Published May 17, 2020