May 18 Transcript
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Virtual Conferral of Degrees
May 18, 2020
Opening video with campus and student images
President Christopher Capuano:
Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the conferral of degrees for the Class of 2020 at Fairleigh Dickinson University. In the tradition of the academy, and as president of Fairleigh Dickinson University, I, Christopher Capuano, officially convene these formal exercises.
Welcome families and friends, and most especially, welcome to the Class of 2020! I want to be the first to congratulate you on your achievements and getting to this special day.
I certainly didn’t expect this afternoon that I would be greeting you online and not in person. While I know no one pictured this, nothing matters more than your safety and health, and, while we have made great progress as a nation in our struggles against the coronavirus, more work remains ahead. And so we must continue the course, continue working together while staying apart, and continue looking forward to being together one day soon.
I want to emphasize that this virtual ceremony does not take the place of your in-person commencement. Today we will confer degrees on the date we originally scheduled because you have now completed your requirements for those degrees. However, we will invite you to a full commencement celebration when the circumstances permit. And I cannot wait to congratulate each of you in person as you walk across the stage.
Before we confer degrees, there are some special people I want to recognize, and I know you will all join me in honoring them.
Fairleigh Dickinson University is a national leader in providing educational programs for U.S. veterans. We want to recognize today 40 FDU graduates who have served as members of the U.S. Armed Forces. This nation and our community thank them for their service and sacrifice.
In the same manner, so many FDU graduates, and many others within our community, including alumni, have been tirelessly working in the front lines of the struggle against the coronavirus, and they have sacrificed and risked their personal well-being to serve others in this difficult time. We all are in their debt and we thank them for everything they are doing.
At this time, I am pleased to introduce University Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Gillian Small, who will recognize a few very special graduates.
University Provost Gillian Small:
Student Pinnacle Awards
Thank you, President Capuano. Each year, the Student Pinnacle Award is given to an outstanding graduating senior on each campus who has demonstrated academic excellence, who has made significant contributions through public service and outstanding commitment to the University, and whose efforts reflect the unique character of Fairleigh Dickinson University.
This year’s Pinnacle award winners are:
From the Florham Campus, Alisa Whitmore
From the Metropolitan Campus, Joshua Germain
And from the Vancouver Campus, Fiona Ma
In recognition of their many accomplishments and in admiration of their remarkable talents, Fairleigh Dickinson University is proud to confer upon these students the Student Pinnacle Award. They will receive their awards as soon as possible.
Recognition of Graduates
Thank you Provost Small, would you now please present the candidates for degrees.
University Provost Gillian Small:
Thank you Mr. President. I am pleased to recognize our successful candidates for degrees. These candidates have persevered through an unprecedented challenge and overcome obstacles no one could have foreseen. They have earned more than an academic credential, they have truly learned the value of commitment and sacrifice, and they will not only achieve great things but will appreciate them even more as a result of those sacrifices.
I am honored today to present candidates for degrees from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Florham Campus, Metropolitan Campus and Vancouver Campus.
Mr. President, I am pleased to first present the candidates for doctoral degrees.
These graduates have fulfilled all the requirements for the degrees Doctor of Philosophy (in Clinical Psychology), Doctor of Psychology (in School Psychology), Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Pharmacy.
I am pleased to now present the candidates for master’s degrees in the Maxwell Becton College of Arts and Sciences under the leadership of Dean Geoffrey Weinman, the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences under the leadership of Dean Michael Avaltroni, the Silberman College of Business under the leadership of Interim Dean James Almeida, University College of Arts, Sciences and Professional Studies under the leadership of Interim Dean Vicki Cohen, the Anthony J. Petrocelli College of Continuing Studies under the leadership of Dean Lisa Braverman, and the School of Public and Global Affairs under the leadership of Director Peter Woolley.
I am pleased to present the candidates for bachelor’s degrees in Becton College, the Silberman College of Business, University College and Petrocelli College.
Now, I am pleased to now present the candidates for associate degrees in University College and Petrocelli College.
Mr. President, I am pleased to inform you that all of these candidates have fulfilled the requirements for their respective degrees, and on behalf of the faculty of Fairleigh Dickinson University, I recommend that they be admitted to these degrees.
Conferral of Degrees
On the recommendation of the faculty and by virtue of the authority vested in the Board of Trustees of Fairleigh Dickinson University, and by them delegated to me, I confer upon the candidates presented the doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees indicated, with all the rights, privileges and responsibilities thereto appertaining.
Graduates, please indicate your new status by transferring your mortarboard tassel from right to left.
Congratulations to all of you! Provost Small and I welcome you to the company of scholars.
(Applause with images of Caps thrown in the air)
Recognition of Faculty and Family and Friends
In the years ahead, when you think of the influences on your life, you will see the faces and hear the voices of many of your professors. Remember the lessons taught to you by your faculty in all that you do. This is an appropriate time for you to think of them and to give thanks for all that they have done.
In addition, today would not be possible without the support and encouragement of your family and friends. It is your parents, wives and husbands, and children — it is your friends, both inside and outside the University, including FDU’s dedicated staff — who were always there to support you. Please take time to thank them for all that they have done.
In so many ways, I am incredibly proud of the Class of 2020. In fact, I am perhaps more proud of this class than any other class that has walked our halls. And that’s because, in the end, you weren’t able to walk those halls, but you still stayed connected, remained committed, and kept moving forward. And now you are officially graduates. Now you are ready to move forward beyond our halls, carrying with you the lessons, the values, and inspiration that this great University has instilled in you. And of course I know you will continue to make us all very proud.
I also know how anxious you are to get on with your lives and that each of you will accomplish wonderful things in your personal and professional endeavors. And if I may, there’s one lasting impression that I wish to share with you. Very simply it is the importance of sharing your journey with other people in your life. While I know you all have individual aspirations and dreams, remember that nothing great happens without others, and there is nothing great that isn’t worth sharing with others. We must always learn from current events and what the last couple of months have taught us, which above all is that humanity is deeply interconnected. We must never forget that and always work together and care for one another in order to prosper.
In the words of Martin Luther King, “The large house in which we live demands we transform this worldwide neighborhood into a worldwide brotherhood. Together we must learn to live as brothers [and sisters] or together we will be forced to perish as fools.”
Despite these challenging times, the future remains filled with opportunities for you. However, please remember that success is not guaranteed. You will have to work very hard and you will need some help along the way.
Plan for tomorrow but always live for today. Don’t take anything for granted. Don’t take people for granted. Make today count, keep hope strong within you, and keep working toward tomorrow with all the power and positivity you have. If you can do all that, then tomorrow will be just fine.
In closing, I would like to say that, on this day, the 18th of May in the year 2020, Fairleigh Dickinson University has officially conferred degrees on these magnificent graduates. Graduates, go forward with courage and grace — fortiter et suaviter — carrying with you the traditions, strengths, and dreams of this great institution.
On behalf of the trustees and the faculty, I declare that these degrees have been conferred. We hope you remain tuned in, however, because we will now broadcast the video messages shared by our graduates and we will scroll the names of the entire Class of 2020.
Our warm congratulations to all the graduates and their families. And, once again, I look forward to congratulating each and every one of you in person as soon as we can.
Thank you, all, and Godspeed!
Grad Greetings plays on split screen
List of graduates scrolls in alpha order listed in order of Florham Campus, Metro Campus and Vancouver Campus