Fairfield Honors Classes of 2020 and 2021

Fairfield Honors Classes of 2020 and 2021

Photo of Lucas and Students at Commencement

This week of in-person Academic Celebrations and virtual Commencements will culminate with an in-person Academic Celebration for the undergraduate Class of 2020 on Saturday, May 22 and virtual Commencement Ceremonies for graduate and undergraduate members of the Class of 2021 on Sunday, May 23.

“Our work is not to train, it is to educate individuals to ‘go set the world on fire.'"

— President Mark R. Nemec, PhD

Fairfield University has been proudly honoring the achievements of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 with virtual Commencement ceremonies and a series of smaller, in-person academic celebrations held throughout this week. Under cloudless, brilliant skies, family and friends gathered for celebrations on Bellarmine Lawn overlooking the Long Island Sound as President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, provosts, deans, and faculty members recognized each graduate's success.

Class of 2020

Graduate and Professional Studies:
A graduate and professional studies ceremony for the Class of 2020 was held virtually on Saturday, May 15 at 9:30 a.m., to honor advanced degree recipients from Fairfield’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Charles F. Dolan School of Business, School of Engineering, and the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions. The exercises were led by Fairfield University Provost Christine Siegel, PhD. The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, Bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport, opened the ceremony with an invocation. Graduate student Nicole J. Phillips ’20 DNP, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, delivered the Commencement address.

Fairfield President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, was the featured Commencement Speaker. He encouraged the graduate Class of 2020 to “never stop asking questions. Never lose sight of the power of inquiry... and never forget, that no matter what profession or what further study you choose to pursue, you are called to be stewards. You are called to leave all you touch, better than when you found it.”

Undergraduate:
More than 700 graduates from the Class of 2020 are expected back to campus for in-person academic celebrations and the traditional walk across Bellarmine Terrace on Saturday, May 22, at 9:30 a.m. for both the College of Arts and Sciences and the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, and at 2 p.m. for both the Charles F. Dolan School of Business and the School of Engineering. 

A special celebratory event for all members of the Class of 2020 will be scheduled during the University’s Fall Alumni & Family Weekend.

Class of 2021

Graduate & Professional Studies:
On Sunday, May 16 at 9:30 a.m., Fairfield University held an in-person academic celebration for Class of 2021 graduate and professional studies students from Fairfield’s Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Charles F. Dolan School of Business, School of Engineering, and Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions. The celebration was held on Bellarmine Lawn and presided over by Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions Dean Laurie Grupp, PhD, Provost Siegel, and the Reverend Paul Rourke, S.J., who led the opening prayer.

“Our work is not to train, it is to educate individuals to ‘go set the world on fire,’” said President Nemec in concluding remarks. “For we, as a Jesuit Catholic institution, are committed to universal truth and justice. We, as a Jesuit Catholic university, most humbly acknowledge no one individual or collective owns this truth or knows the path to justice...”

Undergraduate:

On Monday, May 17, Fairfield’s series of in-person academic celebrations kicked off with the Class of 2021 undergraduates from the College of Arts and Sciences at 9:30 a.m. and at 2 p.m. Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences Richard Greenwald, PhD, welcomed the graduates and Fr. Rourke led the invocation prayer: “As our graduates commence the next stage in their journey, we ask you God to inspire them with your spirit to transform the world as they have transformed our University. Give them hearts on fire and minds alive to the needs and challenges of our world.”

Prior to the recognition of each graduate by name, Provost Siegel addressed the graduates and referenced their resilience amid the challenges of the pandemic: “...Class of 2021, as I look across this lawn at you who were faced with an abrupt and unexpected transition in your education...one for which you had to adapt to new ways of learning, new routines, and higher expectations, and one through which you worked tirelessly to earn bachelor’s degrees... I say to you, I knew you could do it all along.”

In-person academic celebrations for undergraduates in the Charles F. Dolan School of Business took place on Tuesday, May 18, at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dean of the Dolan School Zhan Li, DBA, welcomed graduates and their families and led the order of exercises. Assistant to the dean, the Reverend Gregory Konz, S.J., offered the opening prayer. Following Provost Siegel’s introduction and the celebration of degrees, President Nemec offered concluding remarks.

On Wednesday, May 19, undergraduates in the Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies were honored at 9:30 a.m., and the School of Engineering's academic celebration took place at 2 p.m. Egan School Dean Meredith Wallace Kazer, PhD, APRN, FAAN, and Dean of the School of Engineering Andres L. Carrano, PhD, welcomed graduates, families, and invited guests at the respective academic celebrations.The Reverend Michael Tunney, S.J., provided a prayer for both celebrations: “Let us take up all of the skills and talents that we have discovered here, lavishly, to heal and lift up our human community — to build up the common good of all in our world. Help us O God to be on fire...with your desire for wisdom rooted in our faiths and human reason.” Celebrations followed the same format with Provost Siegel’s introductory remarks, celebration of degrees, and concluding remarks by President Nemec.

Virtual Commencement ceremonies to confer all Class of 2021 undergraduate and graduate degrees are scheduled for Sunday, May 23 at 9:30 a.m. This year’s speaker for the Class of 2021 undergraduate and graduate virtual ceremonies, Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

The total number of degrees expected to be conferred are: 966 bachelor’s, 405 master’s, 23 sixth-year certificates, and 41 doctorates.

For more information or to view livestreams and virtual ceremonies, please visit: Fairfield.edu/commencement.

Class of 2021 Academic Celebrations

Class of 2021 Academic Celebrations

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Last modified: 05-20-21 12:00 AM

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