DePaul College of Communication | Spring 2020 Online Commencement

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Well, College ofCommunications graduates, -congratulations!-Hello, grads. Congratulations, Class of 2020. Class of 2020! Congratulations, Class of 2020. I am so proud of the hard workthat you’ve done and everythingthat you have accomplished. I know it’s been a tough endto your senior year and it’s been a tough quarter, but we’re all so proud of you. Not only did you haveto struggle through the daily classes for fouror five or six years, but you’ve also had to finish in one ofthe most difficult times in the history of our country. No matter the lengthof your journey, this isan incredible accomplishment. No one can ever take thisaway from you. At this moment,at this milestone, we sometimes get weighed downwith the answers, what answers we have,what answers we don’t have. I encourage you, however,to swim and love and really honor the questions. In these difficult times,you will face challenges that other graduatesfrom other classes have never had to face before, but as a DePaul graduate, you are preparedfor the challenges ahead. The amazing work that you bringinto the classroom, your spirit and your energy. We could not bemore proud of you for everythingthat you’ve accomplished here at DePaul. I think we’ll look backon this time as somethingthat you guys can claim to be your own. Now is the timeto think different. Now is the timeto give the world your fresh thinkingon how to bring people together in a fun and creative way. Remember that “commencement”means the beginning, not the end of your education. Trust your intellect,trust each other, trust your creativity, and figure out the lifeyou want to be and the personyou want to become, and go create that darn thing. I wish you all the bestand have a wonderful celebration on this fantastic milestonein your life. Take care! I’ve been deeply honoredto work with all of you, and you’ll be a classthat I’ll always remember. Congratulations. You guys did it. Go out, have a great time, and be surethat you will be successful, because of the dedicationand the energy and the effort that you’ve put intoa wonderful degree at DePaul. Congratulations, Class of 2020. ♪ Members of the faculty, staff, administration, honored guests,and of course, our graduates, I’m Salma Ghanem,Interim Provost for DePaul University. Welcome to our121st commencement, DePaul’s very firstonline ceremony. We very much wish we couldall be together right now, and we plan to do soto celebrate together as soon as it’s safe. Until then, we celebrate todayin this online space because the DePaul communitywould never pass up an opportunity to applaud you,the Class of 2020, and your many accomplishments. Commencement is one ofthe most meaningful ceremonies of a student’s academic career, and a DePaul commencementis anything but ordinary.

As a Catholic Vincentianuniversity, we share a commitmentto uphold the dignity of every single person, and we call thatVincentian personalism. Just like we do every year,each student will be recognized. We want to give every studenttheir moment because that’s the DePaul way. It’s also why we encourageall the students, family members,and friends watching to stay until the end, especially because our ceremonywill conclude with a special alumni guest, Joe Keery from the hit Netflixseries, “Stranger Things.” Now, we know thatthe Class of 2020 faced many challengesthis past quarter. In a matter of days, you had to pivotto all remote learning. Many of you had to dashback home. Through it all, though, you demonstrated patienceand understanding as your facultytransitioned to teach more than 4,000 classesremotely. Your world was turnedupside-down, but you persevered. That’s not surprising to us because throughout your timeat DePaul, you navigated obstaclesand rose to the challenge. How? Well, throughout your timeat DePaul, your class dedicatedat least 300,000 hours to academic internships; 2,559 of you are membersof the Honor Society; 200 undergraduate studentsin the Class of 2020 completed double majors; more than a thousand of you, or roughly about 17 percentof your graduating class, participated instudy abroad programs; you danced more than 70 hoursfor DemonTHON, raising approximately $811,000 for Lurie Children’s Hospitalof Chicago; your Theatre School presentedmore than 300 productions, and the School of Music offerednearly 1,000 performances.

Yeah, and yes,you also helped consume two million meals served on our Lincoln Parkand Loop Campuses, all during your time at DePaul. If you’re watchingtoday’s ceremony, though, with a loved one, a friend,or a family member, turn to them nowand say, “Thank you,” and if you’re physically apartfrom many of the ones you love, take a momentand send them a message to express your gratitude. Don’t ever forgetall the people who helped you getto this moment in your academic career, including, of course,the faculty and staff who shared their talentand wisdom with you. Now, it is your responsibility to carry their teachingsforward. On behalf of the entireDePaul community, congratulations! We can’t wait to seewhat you do next. Now it’s my privilegeto introduce Reverend Guillermo Campuzano,Congregation of the Mission, and Vice Presidentof Mission and Ministry, who will delivertoday’s invocation, followed by the National Anthemsung by John Concepcion. For those who wish to do so,please join me in prayer. Loving God,today is graduation day, a passage, a completion,a new beginning. Today, we pray in thanksgiving for DePaul University’sClass of 2020. Our students,with the help of faculty, staff, family, and friends,have met the challenges and kept the faith to the commitmentsof their studies, and they’re becomingthe kind of people they want to and can bein our society. God, the graduationof this year happens in the contextof the most challenging events of our generation. It is in the challenging momentsthat You refine us. The joy that our studentsare experiencing today cannot be stolen. We will do well to remember that nothing can stealour joy and our peace when they are a giftthat comes from our inner self. Please, do not allowour many trials of today, as difficult as they may seem, to distract usfrom rejoicing and celebrating this meaningful momentin the lives of so many in our DePaul family. In this context,it can be tempting for us to forget to be joyful, yet it is in the challengingmoments of life that You prove yourself close,friendly, faithful. You are always with us. Our joy today is not derivedfrom our comfort, but it is a joythat is happening despite our uncomfort in this,our distance, our inability to gather,to hug, and to say goodbye. Our joy comes from our belief that no matterwhat is happening, none of us is alone. We will continue to reach outand to support each other. Please, dear God,continue to educate us all, especiallyour graduating students, and shape us more completely into the human beingswe need to be to go throughthe fire together and to prevailas one human family.

Good and loving God,please bless and guide our graduatesas they reach this end and as they chartnew beginnings. May what they have learnedby being here, with usin our Vincentian classrooms, allow them to truly bewomen and men for others. May what we have learnedfrom them enable us to be the same. Please help our graduatesuse all that they have learned to serve othersin true solidarity and kindness, to seek ways to help the poor,the marginalized, and those who are suffering, and to always seekthe greater good and make our worlda better place. Finally, God, we thank You for giving us the opportunityto build our DePaul community with these, our students,while they were here. Though they are leaving, now,our campuses, we know that they willalways be with us as part of the DePaul family, and we ask that the bondsthat have been created here remain strongdespite any distance. Bless and protect themand all those they love. Amen. ♪ O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light ♪ ♪ What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’slast gleaming ♪ ♪ Whose broad stripesand bright stars through the perilous fight ♪ ♪ O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? ♪ ♪ And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ O say does thatstar-spangled banner yet wave ♪ ♪ O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? ♪♪ Hello, everyone,my name is Lexa Murphy. I’m the Acting Dean inthe College of Communication. And on behalfof the faculty and staff in the College of Communication,congratulations. We are so impressed with youand all your accomplishments. You’ve completedrigorous academic programs, extra and co-curricularactivities, internships,and service to others. Many of you didall these things and more while holding downfull or part-time jobs. You are the embodimentof a DePaul graduate, and we could not be more proud. To your families,loved ones, and friends, in all the ways thatyou’ve supported these students with your time,financially, a hot meal, or just a listening ear, congratulations, your hard workhas paid off, too. And as you celebrateyour graduation, and please do celebrate, remember that “commencement”does not mean an end, it’s a beginning. Our goal has been to prepare youfor the start of this next stageof your lives. To do this,we’ve challenged you. We’ve challenged youto expand your thinking, to think criticallyand creatively, to use your voice to advocatefor yourself and others, and to continuously applywhat you have learned.

For example, as we navigate the current globalpublic health crisis, consider the critical insightsthat you can provide as graduates ofthe College of Communication. You know that words matter,that messaging is critical, that collaboration is essential, and that all storiesmust be told. And the way we tellthose stories makes a difference. Your degree has never beenmore relevant than it is today. And remember, communicationis also about community. As you go out into the worldand make your mark, stay connected. Social distancing does not meanthat we can’t still be social. Now more than ever, we need to step outof our comfort zones and build relationships. As Communication graduates, you, more than anyone,know what this means. Think about a momentwhen someone has encouraged, inspired, mentored,or befriended you. Now, go out and do thatfor someone else. Don’t forget to stay connectedwith us, too. As alums,you are forever a part of the Collegeof Communication community. Come back and shareyour life’s adventures. I, for one, look forwardto hearing all the stories that you will tell. Now it’s my pleasureto introduce Zoe Krey, your fellow classmate and our studentcommencement speaker. Zoe is an account supervisorat MSL, a global public relations and integratedcommunications firm. She is a proud Double Demon and earned her undergraduatedegree in Political Science as well as Public Relationsand Advertising. Today, she’s completingthe DePaul Graduate Public Relationsand Advertising program in one yearwhile working full-time. This is a first for our program. Please welcome Zoe Krey. Good afternoon and thank you to our esteemed facultyand staff, and congratulationsto my fellow graduates on a job well-done. Wow, what a year we’ve had. After 11 weeks ofunprecedented virtual learning, we’ve made it hereto graduation, proud, humbled,and undoubtedly smarter, celebrating whatwe’ve accomplished together. Sitting virtuallyin front of you today, I feel grit in the air.

I’m not talkingabout sand or dust, I am talking aboutthe powerful passion and perseveranceeach and every one of us had while at DePaul. The late night studying,the myriad of group projects, and the desperate attemptsto avoid 9 A.M. classes quarter after quarter. I’m talking about when you were one of the first peopleat Starbucks or the last personat the Lincoln Park or Loop Library. The times when you rushedout of class and hustled it on over to the L only to see your trainpulling out of the station, getting fartherand farther away. Thirteen-minute waitin zero degrees. That now seemslike the good old days when life was normal. In more recent weeks, we transitionedinto the frustrations of logging on to Zoomwith sometimes terrible Wi-Fi only to have our screensfreeze mid-sentence and hurriedly rebootour laptops. Talk about grit. But we kept at it,and I assure you, we’re better for it. As a proud Double Demon,I was crazy enough to come back and do it all over again. Many have asked me, “Why?” Especially in the midstof a demanding career in public relations, why work 40,sometimes 50-hour weeks and take four night classesa quarter? The simple answeris that I might be crazy. The longer,while my limits were tested, I love to learn. Attending DePaul has taught me how to cultivatea wider worldview. The diverse perspectivesthat my professors and fellow classmatesbrought to the classroom have made me a moresocially conscious professional. The connections I’ve made here are not justfor the sake of networking. They are relationships thatI have fostered for a lifetime. I am thankful for every lecture, discussion, exam, and projectin person or online, and I can attestthat the breadth and depth of DePaul’s academics prepares studentsfor real-world situations and sets us up for success. The reward of learning and of committing to somethingand finishing it knows no bounds. Saint Vincent de Paul said,”It is not enough to do good, it must be done well.” At DePaul, we say, “Here we do, knowing that doingfor the sake of doing is insufficient.” I am confident thatwe will apply this principle to our profession and our lifeno matter the circumstance. As graduates,we’ll be faced with challenges. The obvious challengeof landing the perfect job in a post COVID-19 world, sure,but also challenges of navigatinginterpersonal relationships and achieving balance. Struggles no doubt lie ahead around every corner and bend, but as DePaul graduates,we have learned that success would be nothingwithout struggle. We will come preparedto tackle obstacles ahead of us with flair, humor, and maybe evenjust a little bit of drama, but surely not fear. Through a passion for learningand asking what must be done, I hope we will allpursue our goals, dedicating ourselvesto progress and certainly never forgettingwhere we’ve started or what we’ve overcomehere at DePaul together.

As we continue to riseto the top of whatever metaphoric mountainswe deem worthy of our climbs, please rememberthat as DePaul graduates, we no longer have big fears. Our grit and determination now gives us the capacityfor big dreams. Congratulations, Class of 2020. The Dean will now presentthe candidates for the Conferral of Degrees. ♪ President Esteban, on behalfof the faculty and staff of the College of Communication, I respectfully presentthe candidates and recommendthat the announced degrees be conferred upon them. ♪ By the authority vested in meby the Board of Trustees and the State of Illinois, I confer upon you the degree for which you havebeen recommended with all the rights, privileges, and responsibilitiesappertaining thereunto. ♪ The following candidateshave successfully completed the requirementsand have been awarded their respective degrees. ♪ Members ofthe Vincentian Community and the clergy, Trustees,Life Trustees, faculty,administration, staff,and honored guests, I’m Gabriel Esteban, presidentof DePaul University. Thank you for joining ustoday to celebrate the DePaul UniversityClass of 2020. Your presence,even in this online space, means everything to us. This was not the yearor the commencement ceremony anyone expected, and I am inspiredby the tenacity and drive the Class of 2020has demonstrated throughout this time. I am also extremely gratefulto all the faculty and staff who made the swift transitionto remote learning, as well asthe many people who made today’s onlinecommencement ceremony possible. I especially would likethe recognize the membersof the DePaul community who continuedto report to campus throughoutthe Spring Quarter. DePaul UniversityClass of 2020, the worldis a scary place right now. Graduating from collegealways comes with a degreeof uncertainty. Is this the right job for me? Am I choosingthe right path? Will I achieve my dreams? I know all your questionsare magnified right now, and it’s okayto feel scared. Now, more than ever, the world needsDePaul graduates. There are morethan 6,000 students in the Class of 2020, and the world needsevery single one of you. We need entrepreneurs,economists, and hospitality leaders. Journalists, filmmakers, computer scientists,and game designers. Teachers, counselors,writers, artists, diplomats,and historians.

Nurses, psychologists, scientists,and mathematicians. Musicians and actors. The world needsDePaul graduates because you knowwhat it takes to succeed. You know howto roll up your sleeves and do whatever it takesto get the job done. You understand the importanceof giving back. And you have the courageto ask, “What must be done?” At DePaul,our Catholic Vincentian mission to serve the public good is at the heartof everything we do. We have taught youto fight for social justice, help those most in need, listen, and be kind. Please keepour Vincentian values close to your heart. Be mindfulof the responsibility that comeswith a DePaul diploma. The diplomathat bears the name of St. Vincent de Paul. DePaul UniversityClass of 2020, you are ready to servea changing world, transformed byyour DePaul education, grounded in mission. Make us proud. The last stepin your journey at DePaul is to be inductedinto the alumni community. It is my distinct honorto introduce our special alumni guest,Joe Keery, who graduated fromThe Theatre School in 2014, and now playsSteve Harrington on the hit Netflix series”Stranger Things.” DePaul has always been proudto call Joe one of our own, and my wife and Iare big fans of his work. We’re very gratefulhe could join us today to celebratethe Class of 2020. Please welcome Joe Keery. Hi, everybody,my name is Joe Keery. I’m an alumniat DePaul University, Class of 2014,from The Theatre School, and I’m honored to bethis year’s Alumni Inductor and to welcomethe Class of 2020 into the Alumni Association. So, congratulations,Class of 2020. When I thinkabout my time at DePaul, I think aboutall the hard work. I mean, DePaul really conditionstheir students to work. If you ask any of the studentsat The Theatre School, they’re definitelyworking very hard. It really conditioned meto fill my days doing the thingthat I love to do, and then work towards goalsthat I really set for myself. So, now, more than ever,as graduates, and kind of giventhe current state of the world, I think it’s really importantto keep your foot on the gas and to really go afterevery single opportunity, to makeyour own opportunities.

If you work hard at somethingthat you love to do, and you can makea living doing it, then you won’t have to worka day in your life. That’s always beenmy mentality, and I feel so luckyto be able to do the workthat I’m able to do. And it wouldn’t havebeen possible, truly, without DePaul. I look backon my time there so fondly. All the friendsthat I’ve made, all the experiencesthat I had. But, truly,now the real fun begins, because you get to takeeverything that you’ve learned and everything thatyou’ve worked towards at DePauland put it to use. And now you can startthis new chapter in your life and always look back fondlyat your time at DePaul. So, congratulations again, and now to inductthe Class of 2020. Inscribed upon this scrollare the names of the members of DePaul University’s121st graduating class, the Class of 2020. We acceptthese graduates into the DePaul UniversityAlumni Association. Members ofthe 121st graduating class, we welcome youto the next step in your lifelong connectionwith DePaul as students of yesterday,graduates today, and alumni forever. You are now part of aneven larger DePaul community of over 190,000 alumniliving around the world. The continued vitalityof DePaul University depends uponeach of us as alumni, and our pledge of commitmentand service to the university. We invite youto accept membership by moving your tasselfrom the right to the left as a symbolic gestureof your transformation from a studentof DePaul University to a lifelong learnerand citizen of the world. Graduates,please move your tassels, you should really do it, and congratulationsto the Class of 2020. (applauds) ♪

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