UDC Graduates Conferred Degrees in Virtual Salute

In honor of its Class of 2020, the University of the District of Columbia commemorated what would have been its graduation ceremony this weekend with a virtual tribute.

Saturday’s website presentation was livestreamed at 10 a.m., the time the school’s traditional commencement would have begun at the Washington Convention Center. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s ceremony has been postponed until December.

However, during the 30-minute “Firebirds Forever” video salute, President Ronald Mason conferred degrees on 794 graduates who completed requirements within UDC’s six schools and colleges. Sixteen of those graduates completed their degrees with a perfect cumulative average of 4.0.

“This pandemic is changing the world in ways that no one could’ve imagined,” Mason said during a brief presentation in which he challenged the new graduates to take on a changing world. “You are the first class of UDC graduates facing the task to build this new world. Be fortified, be strong and know that you are prepared for the challenges before you.”

The video also included messages from D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, UDC board Chair Christopher Bell and each of the university’s academic deans.

Chief Academic Officer Lawrence T. Potter Jr. explained that creating the video was important for the university to celebrate the Class of 2020 for their accomplishments.

“While no one could have anticipated a virtual celebration, I want our graduates and the faculty to know we are excited to recognize and celebrate their mutual accomplishments,” Potter said. “This class has shown incredible resiliency and I couldn’t be prouder. It is disappointing to be unable to express that in person, but we found a way to properly recognize and celebrate the fantastic achievements of the Class of 2020. This is a momentous occasion!”

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