Although Commencement had to be postponed instead of taking place on its traditional May date due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is much cause for celebrating this year’s special group of Panthers and their many accomplishments. A total of 798 undergraduates and 195 graduate, doctoral, and certificate of advanced graduate studies students would have been eligible to participate in this year’s ceremonies, including those who completed their studies in June, August, and December of 2019 and in January 2020.
President Birx offered this message to students. “As members of the Plymouth State community, we have shared an experience that each of us will long remember. Along with all that you have learned through your coursework and extracurricular activities, you have had a role in advancing the University during an unprecedented period. Many of you are contributing in important ways both here in Plymouth and in your home communities, and we offer special thanks to those who are on the frontlines and providing essential services. You embody our motto, Ut Prosim—That I May Serve, and we salute your commitment and acknowledge your achievements. Congratulations and well done!”
Students hailed from 26 states, including Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, and 14 countries, including Australia, Canada, China, Finland, India, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Nigeria, Philippines, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA, and Vietnam.
Faculty and staff cheered on students remotely through a playful Congratulations, Class of 2020 video, and family, friends, and alumni have joined in tribute as well on social media. A post from Mark Mercer ’03 noted that both he and his niece from the Class of 2008 are “Panthers through and true!” and Kim Koprowski predicted “PSU’s Class of 2020 will change the world for the better!”
Students focused on local, national, and international concerns from exploration and discovery to innovation and entrepreneurship; in science, nature, and technology; the arts and business and security; and on education and health. More than 70 students were acknowledged with Convocation Awards, which are given annually for a range of accomplishments including highest departmental grade point average (GPA), commitment to fields of study, and demonstration of professional qualities, among other attributes.
Plymouth State plans to hold its 149th Commencement celebration on campus this fall, and the date and details will be announced this summer.
The University also extends congratulations to students named to the Dean’s and President’s lists for the spring semester. To be named to the Dean’s List a student must have a GPA between 3.5 and 3.69, and to be named to the President’s List it must be 3.7 or better.