UVA celebrates the achievements and resilience of the 2021 class
Ila Berman, outgoing Dean of the School of Architecture, reminded all graduates that, like architects, they need to rethink, reinvent and remake the world and make real what was once virtual.
“All of our disciplines at UVA enable this, not only by advancing knowledge and skills, but by fostering creativity and innovation and by strengthening the capacity for imagination, in order to transform and improve the world around us. Berman said. “The only things that limit our ability to achieve this transformation are the limits that we carry within us. These are the limitations we overcome through an education that inspires us to dream, imagine and create.
Alex Hernandez, dean of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, linked the work of his school’s graduates to his own father’s accomplishments, citing students who held children in their knees while taking online classes or writing items after working a full shift.
“If you’ve met my dad, you might not know he didn’t earn his bachelor’s degree the first time around – he quit,” Hernandez said. “But a university has built a new path to get him back to school so he can get his first of three degrees. This program changed my father’s life, it changed my life, and it changed the lives of my children.
“To create opportunities, our communities need more than one path to achieve their dreams,” he said. “As a public university, we are building ladders of opportunity that anyone can climb.”
Dean Philip E. Bourne of the School of Data Science praised the courage, persistence, loyalty and respect of graduates, who he said would serve them well in the future.
“Now is the time for you to celebrate,” Bourne said. “Celebrate your success; celebrating our society’s ability to come together and begin to resolve a global crisis and, above all, to celebrate each other. When the glasses are empty, balloons deflated and families separated, think about the future – not just your future, but that of everyone on this planet.
Saturday: Arts and science graduates sowed seeds of democracy and created a ‘home’
The largest of the 12 AVU schools, the College and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, celebrated the final exercises in two ceremonies on Saturday in hot, summery conditions with lots of smiles, bouquets and balloons .
Nearly 2,500 undergraduates and 375 graduate students waved and kissed as they left the rotunda, walked down the lawn and across the field to reach Scott Stadium.
Alumni and guests listened to President Jim Ryan and Dean of Arts and Science Ian B. Baucom share their observations and wisdom about the past four years.
Ryan mentioned that graduating members of the men’s lacrosse, baseball and women’s golf teams had competitions on Saturday and could not attend the ceremony. In the afternoon, he had an update: The Cavalier men’s lacrosse team beat Georgetown University, 14-3, to advance to the semi-finals of the NCAA tournament.
Parents and family members began marking their places at Scott Stadium before 8 a.m. – two hours before the first procession left the Rotunda – although there was plenty of space with distance measurements physical in place.