70th and 71st Commencements Celebrated at Fairfield

70th and 71st Commencements Celebrated at Fairfield

Fairfield University Stag Graduates of 2020 at their Academic Celebration, dressed in their black graduation regalia, some conversing while the two individuals in the foreground are giving one another a celebratory hug

Members of Fairfield University's Class of 2020 at their Academic Celebration.

Nearly 4,000 in total assembled on Bellarmine Lawn during a week-long series of in-person academic celebrations for 1,864 graduates of Fairfield’s Classes of 2020 and 2021.

The restoration of our global community depends on our drive and strength, even in the face of uncertainty and hardship.

— Teresa Ann Sauer '20

A week of celebrations and ceremonies culminated with an in-person Academic Celebration for the undergraduate Class of 2020 on Saturday, May 22, and virtual Commencement ceremonies for the graduate and undergraduate members of the Class of 2021 on Sunday, May 23.

More than 700 graduates from the Class of 2020 returned to campus to make the traditional walk across Bellarmine Terrace at two separate in-person Academic Celebrations. College of Arts & Sciences and Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies graduates were honored on Saturday morning, and the celebration for the Charles F. Dolan School of Business and the School of Engineering took place that afternoon.

Student Commencement Speaker Teresa Ann Sauer '20 spoke to classmates about persevering through adversity. “It is when we strive for the fulfilment of our dreams, that we help others to the same end. We cannot fear to dream. The restoration of our global community depends on our drive and our strength, even in the face of uncertainty and hardship.”

Following awards recognition, and before the graduates were recognized by the deans of their respective schools, Commencement speaker President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, acknowledged the resilience and fortitude of the Class of 2020, especially in the face of the pandemic. “...As small as we may at times feel, as large as the world and as vast as the universe might seem... we are never ever alone. Rather, we are always blessed to be part of something grander.”

Dr. Nemec urged graduates to maintain three habits: “Be curious. Be bold. Be kind.” In closing, he officially congratulated the Class of 2020 by telling them, “We have waited a year to say it, but allow me to formally announce that you are, now and forever, Stags.”

Virtual Commencement ceremonies to confer all Class of 2021 undergraduate and graduate degrees took place on Sunday, May 23 at 9:30 a.m. Student Commencement speaker Michelle Jasko '21 of the Dolan School of Business  addressed her classmates at the undergraduate ceremony. This year’s Commencement speaker for both the undergraduate and graduate virtual ceremonies, Judy Woodruff, anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour, received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree. Woodruff encouraged graduates with a piece of advice: “The main difference between those who succeed at their goals and those who don’t, is simply not giving up. Look around you. Those who keep going — who learn that lesson: that things won’t always go your way, but that can’t stop you — those are the ones who end up making a difference.”

The number of degrees conferred upon the Class of 2021 totaled: 952 bachelor’s, 414 master’s, 23 sixth-year certificates, and 41 doctorates.

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

Photo Gallery: Class of 2020 Academic Celebrations

Class of 2020 Academic Celebrations

Class of 2021 Academic Celebrations

Class of 2020 Academic Celebrations

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