MINNEAPOLIS, MN — St. Catherin University has delayed its spring and winter 2020 commencement celebration due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year the university’s commencement will multiply its celebration, including a virtual honoring and an outdoor GradWalk.
The first virtual commencement ceremony was broadcasted on May 21, 2021; students from College for Women, College for Adults, and Graduate classes of 2020 and 2021 were all invited to be honored virtually.
During the virtual celebration, Anita Thomas, Ph.D., executive vice president and provost at St. Catherine University, said, “You have honed your ability to seek and attain excellence as students and scholars — we applaud you and offer you to the world as ethical and just leaders who will use their education to influence change and transform the world, and know that you are Forever St. Catherine.”
These graduate students were also given a chance to deliver their perspective and experience on pursuing a degree during the pandemic.
“We deserve to celebrate all that it has taken to reach this milestone: the unbreakable strength in the face of hardship, the fearless pursuit of learning, and the dreams of visionary leaders who forged the paths that we now venture on.” — Alma Silver ’20.
“The education we received and the lessons we have learned over the last year has strengthened our ability to bring change and meaning to our lives and communities.” — Elizabeth Hermodson-Olson ’20.
“You won’t always have the answer. You won’t always be able to understand others and their experiences. You have no choice but to show up imperfectly, but isn’t that the basis for forming human connections?” — Emily Bendelsmith ’21.
“We are resilient, strong, and capable, and as we write our new stories, let us remember to flip back a few pages to our time at St. Kate’s and know that the connections we have here will last a lifetime.” — Ella Graham ’21.
Meanwhile, the first-ever GradWalk ceremony took place on May 21 and 22. Students were invited to the modified version of the ceremonies at The O’Shaughnessy.
Five hundred graduates attended the ceremony. They were given the time to walk on the stage set up on the patio of the O’Shaughnessy when their names and degrees were announced. They walked and received their diploma cover and pose with the president and provost.
“There is truly no better time for you to go forth in this world, doing your own part to lead, influence, and change our future for the better. Your St. Kate’s education has prepared you in ways no other university could emerge stronger, wiser, and ready to lead.” ReBecca Koenig Roloff ’76, president of St. Catherine University, added during her virtual address to the graduates.
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