DePaul College of Science and Health | Spring 2020 Online Commencement


Congratulations,Class of 2020! On behalf of all of my colleagues in the College of Science and Health, I congratulate you on your great success. You guys are great. You are amazing. You are legend,you are epic. You have learned how to do so many hard things, and you’ve inspired all of us around you. You’ve learned independence, you’ve learned resilience, you’ve learned flexibility. You’ve learned to be able to roll with the punches and take what comes and just keep on going. You’ve shown great resilience all throughout your time at DePaul. Think about all those times you were resilient and went out in the winter cold to get that late-night burrito throughout the Winter Quarter. I know I speak on behalf of the faculty when I tell you how much better you’ve made our lives over the last few years, and especially over the last couple months.

We are so proud of how you’ve handled this order. We’re not just training you for jobs, and we certainly hope we’re doing that, but we are, moreover,training you for your life’s work. My advice is, find something you really are passionate about. Find something you care about. Give that gift to the world. Thank you for letting us be part of your journey. You guys rock.Congratulations. So, go out there,be yourself. Change the world. Make a difference. Welcome to the DePaul alumni family, and go, Blue Demons! ♪ We proudly present DePaul University’s 121st Commencement Ceremonies. ♪ Members of the faculty, staff, administration, honored guests,and of course, our graduates, I’m Salma Ghanem,Interim Provost for DePaul University. Welcome to our 121st commencement, DePaul’s very first online ceremony.

We very much wish we could all be together right now, and we plan to do so to celebrate together as soon as it’s safe. Until then, we celebrate today in this online space because the DePaul community would never pass up an opportunity to applaud you,the Class of 2020, and your many accomplishments. Commencement is one of the most meaningful ceremonies of a student’s academic career, and a DePaul commencement is anything but ordinary. As a Catholic Vincentian university, we share a commitment to uphold the dignity of every single person, and we call that Vincentian personalism. Just like we do every year,each student will be recognized. We want to give every student their 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? ♪ Dear graduates, on behalf ofthe faculty and staff of the Collegeof Science and Health, I offer my most sincerecongratulations for all thatyou have accomplished in your academic journey. I wish you wellas you leave DePaul to share your skillswith our community and the world. You are entering the world at a time it needsyour skill sets the most. To tackle the pandemic, our nation has reliedon people trained in all of the disciplinesyou have studied in the Collegeof Science and Health.

These includeour healthcare providers, public health officials, mental health providers, virologists,immunologists, geneticists,evolutionary biologists, medicinaland organic chemists, mathematiciansand statisticians, environmentalhealth experts, physicists,and engineers. Each and every one of you, every single oneof these professions, is contributingits knowledge and expertise to containand eventually eradicate the COVID-19 virus. Now more than ever, we need expertstrained in science and health to spread truth and fact. Although you may notbe diving right in to tackle a pandemic yourself, I know you have developedthe skills necessary to do so. Because of your entireDePaul experience, you are preparedto contribute to a world that needs your expertiseand your skills now more than ever before. Your professors have helped youdevelop these skills with the missionof our university in mind, the Vincentian missionthat calls on you to serve all in need. Keep this mission in mindas you move forward to further your educationor join the workforce. Congratulations to all of you. I wish you continued success,health, and happiness. Now it is my honor to introduceyour fellow classmate and our student speaker,Radhwa Ramadan. Radhwa is graduating todaywith a degree in Health Sciences with a concentrationin BioScience. She is a member ofthe university Honors Program, the Pathways Honors Program, Students for Justicein Palestine, United Muslims Moving Ahead, and MEDLIFE. She plans to enterthe medical field to offer healthcare and supportto underserved communities. Please welcome Radhwa. Family, friends, faculty,and fellow classmates. Welcome, thank you,and congratulations, in that order. First and foremost, I hope you’re all doing welland staying healthy. Though I wasdefinitely expecting to be nervousin front of a crowd, I’ll settle for being nervousin front of a camera, due to the unusual circumstanceswe’re currently living in. And although I knowwe’re all technically college-educatedindividuals now, I’ve always wondered why, when someone asks usto define a word, we start listing synonyms rather than actuallydefining the word. For example, if someone were to ask youwhat “small” meant, you wouldn’t say, “Accordingto Merriam Webster…” You would say, “Little, tiny,miniscule,” et cetera. In fact,as a generation, we’re probably really lettingthe dictionary industry down. This concept isactually quite funny, because dependingon who you ask, you will almost always getan incredibly biased response.

For example, I asked my sistera couple of weeks ago what the word”vexatious” means. Apparently,it means “annoying,” but she said to me, “Go look in the mirrorand you’ll figure it out.” (chuckles) However, my favorite exampleof this, hands down, is the word “home.” Everyone has a specificallyunique set of synonyms for what they believehome to be. For me, home meansfamily, relaxation, comfort, safety, and at the risk of soundingreally cheesy, DePaul. It’s interesting, because most peopledon’t come to college looking for a home. We already have one; why would we wantanother one? Instead, we come lookingfor opportunities, higher education,and most importantly, fun. But what many of ushave failed to realize is that home is not a place,it’s a feeling. And all of these things– opportunity, fun, education, they all begin at feelingsafe, comfortable, and inspired. As a first generationindividual, I’ve actually found itquite difficult to pinpoint the exact feeling of home. Our identities areso multifaceted and so culturally blendedthat sometimes, it feels like you can’t reallybelong to any one place. However, at DePaul, I’ve had so many opportunitiesto meet people and indulge in activitiesthat have satisfied every single aspectof my identity. In fact, the whole premiseof DePaul’s mission is to cultivate a community in which inclusionand engagement are not notionsthat stand out but notions that feelentirely normal. It is trulysuch an underrated experience to enter a communityand feel as though there is nothingholding you back from being yourself. To have the spaceto explore, to learn, to expand,and most importantly, to failand learn from our failure. It is now our missionto take what we’ve learned and what we’ve accomplishedand to make it better. It’s our turnto completely embody the communitythat we’ve just emerged from to not only make the worlda better place, but to continue to makeourselves better people. So, thank youto all the wonderful people, groups, movements,and activities at DePaul that have allowed usto fully grow into our skin. Not only was it fun,opportunity, and education, but it was home. And even though we’re allstuck inside right now under less than idealcircumstances, don’t forget the impactthe last three or four years have had on you, and don’t be afraidto carry that impact forward. Even if it’s justfrom your bed, your effort, kindness,and compassion will always make a difference. Thank you again, I wish you all the best, and congratulations. The Dean will nowpresent the candidates for the Conferral of Degrees. ♪ President Esteban, on behalf of the facultyand staff of the Collegeof Science and Health, I respectfully presentthe candidates and recommend thatthe announced degrees be conferred upon them. ♪ By the authorityvested in me by the Board of Trusteesand the state of Illinois, I confer upon youthe 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 liketo 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 jobfor me? Am I choosingthe right path? Will I achievemy 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 servethe public good is at the heartof everything we do. We have taught youto fight for social justice, help thosemost 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 seriesStranger 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 alumniof 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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