It was, no doubt, a strange way to end four years of college for this year’s graduates. With formal commencement exercises canceled, Villanova put on a virtual graduation ceremony. And it was wonderful.
Here are some screenshots of the ceremony which was broadcast live yesterday afternoon.
The top photo is of our President, Father Peter Donohue, addressing an empty auditorium in the brand new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts, which just opened this semester.
Here is Father Peter addressing this year’s graduates:
Once he had completed his remarks, the ceremony continued with images and video clips highlighting the past four years:
The Special Olympics:
Images highlighting learning:
and of course our National Championship!
The next part of the ceremony was the conferring of the degrees, by college. A few members of the Accounting Department had a Zoom watch party for the Commencement, since we are usually there in person to share in the celebration:
Father Peter giving a tip of the hat to the new graduates after awarding their degrees:
A highlight of the graduation ceremony each year is hearing 2,000 voices singing the Alma Mater. While that couldn’t be done this year, we had the next best thing, members of the various Nova singing groups getting together to sing the alma mater:
When that was over, Father Peter:
and all the Deans of the various colleges raised their glasses, from home, to offer their congratulations to the class of 2020.
A beautiful closing shot of what is the heart and soul of Villanova:
While some of the pomp and circumstance of an in-person graduation were missing, this virtual ceremony was a wonderful way to celebrate the accomplishments of this year’s grads.
I wish all of you the best.
If you would like to watch the ceremony, here is the link.