Congratulations and thank you

Author: Stephen Percy

Posted: June 12, 2020

Dear Campus Community,

Congratulations to the 6,000 graduates of the Class of 2020. Your accomplishment is all the more impressive considering the hardships of the past months and the tragedies that marked the most recent weeks. I am saddened that we cannot come together at an in-person commencement to share a well-deserved moment of pride and joy. Yet it does not diminish my immense sense of gratitude and hope.

My gratitude goes to our faculty, staff, and students for fearlessly charging into the world of remote teaching and learning and adapting daily to the challenges and opportunities you encountered along the way. I am inspired and humbled by the sacrifices you all made to protect our community against the pandemic.

We are a tight community at PSU, making it hard to give up in-person interaction, but as I expected, you have all responded to isolation with innovation, finding new ways to connect and new resources to share. When we reunite, I am confident that we will come together with ties that have been reinforced by this experience, having learned lasting lessons that will make us a better, more effective, and more just campus community.

I have witnessed first-hand many moments of true grace over the last several months. I want to specifically name the burden that has been carried by our Black faculty, staff, and students as you have continued to meet your academic and professional commitments despite the trauma and grief re-provoked by the latest incidents of racism and anti-Black violence. 

To those students who are still on your journey, you too deserve tremendous praise. I know it is not easy, but it is so important to stay the course. I look forward to a time that we can all be together on our campus. Until then, if you need help, please ask. We will do all we can to make sure you finish your degree and join over 180,000 PSU alumni as they shape our world.


Stephen Percy