Virtual Commencement 2020
Dear Molloy Graduate,
I want to officially welcome you to the 2020 Commencement Proceedings.
I want to begin by congratulating all of the graduates for your accomplishments, but even more so, for doing it in the midst of significant challenges. We are here in this digital space because of the Pandemic disruptions that have carved up our normal lives over the past few months.
I assure you, that being in this digital space and not in person, is an experience that I never wanted, but so too I did not want to be isolated from my two children and their spouses for 8 weeks or from my colleagues and friends.
Let me tell you what I’m missing most about today.
I miss the excitement that fills the arena – the buzz of ten thousand voices – the joyful gathering of parents, spouses, children, relatives and friends, I miss the pomp – the tradition laden procession, I miss the personalized mortar boards, I miss the hoots and hollers – the shoutouts, I miss the selfies, I miss your well-practiced and spontaneous victory celebrations, I miss the handshakes - all 1200 of them, I miss you.
We are all keenly aware that these last few months have presented us with challenges. Our normal routines seem like distant memories or early morning dreams. Our lives have changed radically and we long to return to the Pre-pandemic day, but will our lives really ever be the same? Have we been changed by what we have just intensely experienced? Will we be the same person or have we learned something about ourselves, about others and about our society?
I’ve been a College President for 20 years and my role has given me real insight into the workings of society. I know that Education is fundamental. It is how we pass on our essential knowledge and values. It is how we prepare the next generation to assume the roles that are critical and important to society.
Education is essential. It is a public good
For those like you and me that have experienced what a disruption in education can mean - we can see more clearly how important it is and the need for investment in Learning and Schools.
So, too, we have come to see the absolute importance of our health care system from the primary care practitioners to hospitals to public health to the pharmaceutical industry and manufacturing base.
We have all seen the cracks in our system and the need to build up this common good.
We have also, through this pandemic, seen more clearly the inequities in our society – those who live on the edge – with no resources to weather even a minor disruption and those who are homeless, without access to health care or enough food to eat.
The question I pose to you, is now that your eyes can see these cracks plain and stark and your heart feel the pain, sharp and real – what will you do to fix it? What will you do on a personal level and what will you demand as a societal fix?
Our pain must lead to a gain.
I ask all of you to be agents of transformation. To be the phoenix that rises from the ashes and build anew – to be the bold everyday hero that believes in good – commits to service- and works tirelessly to build a better world.
Through this pandemic we have all sacrificed – some more than others
The question is what did you learn about yourself, about others, about humanity, and about society?
Have you changed because of it?
Do you want some of these changes to be permanent?
Will you honor your sacrifice by being a different person?
Will you honor the sacrifices made by the many everyday heroes by working to make society better?
Will you be what we expect every Molloy graduate to be – a transformative agent for good?
Your generation will forever be linked to the Corona Virus Pandemic but you, each of you has the power to determine what the legacy will be to society from this cataclysmic event.
Congratulations and go change the world!
Drew Bogner, Ph.D.
Relive Molloy's First Virtual Commencement
There and Back again...
Virtual Commencement Speakers