Neumann University Class of 2021 Graduate In-Person, With Conditions
Neumann University was creative in its approach to in-person graduations for the Class of 2021. It provided a mix of a normal graduation ceremony with COVID-19-safety precautions.
The university scheduled six ceremonies over two days May 15-16.
Plus, the audience was socially distanced into groups of three.
A unique element of the graduation included Class of 2021 twin sisters Halle and Jillian Crane.
The young women came to campus in 2016 from a small town in Ontario, Canada.
They’ve followed similar college career paths. Both played ice hockey and golf. They graduated with degrees in Nursing. Both landed jobs at Christiana Hospital that start on the same day, July 12.
Valedictorian Amanda DeCarolis gave the commencement address. She reminded her classmates of the obstacles they overcame.
“This year [of COVID] taught us through its challenges that while not every day is a good day, there is good in every day. We learned new ways to communicate, learn online, and work, all while striving to gain real-world work experience in an everchanging and challenging job market.”
Ireland’s ambassador to the United States, Daniel Mulhall, spoke at the 1 p.m. ceremony on Saturday. He and his wife Greta received honorary degrees from the university.
“The world that you are entering may be a less dangerous one, without the threat of nuclear conflict between East and West, than the world of 1980 when I entered the foreign service,” said Ambassador Mulhall, “but you will be living in a far more complex world with complex challenges: the changing environment, pandemics, cyber-attacks.”
He advised graduates not to be complacent.
“With dedication, determination, and a continued commitment to learning, the sky is the limit.”
Students graduated in groups of 100 or fewer, and each could only have two guests.
Graduation was outdoors, under a tent on the front lawn of the Mirenda Center. The Class of 2021 received diplomas on May 15. The Class of 2020, for which there was no in-person event last year, returned to campus for its commencement on May 16.
Approximately eight hundred degrees were awarded during the two days although about half of the Class of 2020 did not attend their delayed ceremony.
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