“This is not how we expected to be spending this weekend,” said President John J. DeGioia, speaking alone from his campus office on May 16, “and I look forward to the moment in the future when we can all gather together here on campus to celebrate the commencement of the class of 2020.”
DeGioia also thanked the class for the way it responded to “a heartbreaking disruption in mid-March,” and called that response “a source of consolation and inspiration that you have accepted responsibility for caring for everyone around you.”
‘You Will Make It’
The May 16 event included video messages from alumni, including Yamiche Alcindor (C’09) White House correspondent PBS NewsHour; comedian, storyteller, actor and director Mike Birbiglia (C’00); director, producer and screenwriter Malcolm Lee (C’92); Aimee Mullins (SFS’98), actress and paralympic athlete; and CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell (C’95, G’03).
“You will make it in the world,” Alcindor said in her message. “Even with its upheaval – you will be able to do all the things you wanted to do if you put your mind to it.”
“You don’t want to watch a video from a comedian you may or may never have ever heard of on Youtube,” Birbiglia joked. “You were not meant to be at your parents’ house who you are trying to avoid by going to college in the first place.”
‘Quality of Relationships’
Lee told the class to remain cognizant of what the students gained before the campus closed in mid-March because of the COVID-19 crisis.
“Do not let the events of the past few months sour you from the bonds that you have formed, the connections you’ve made and the experience you’ve shared with classmates, faculty and staff here at Georgetown University,” he said.
O’Donnell appeared on the CBS Evening News set with a bottle of hand sanitizer, which she joked is “your new best friend.”
“The quality of your life is dependent on the quality of your relationships,” she said. “Don’t forget to say thank you to everyone who helped you get here today.”
The event ended with Georgetown’s student choir singing the university’s alma mater.
The Class of 2020 also was congratulated with more than 900 messages from family, friends, professors and alumni that now appear on the university’s homepage.
Diplomas on the Way
Provost Robert Groves noted that while Georgetown would be mailing diplomas in the weeks ahead, the online conferral ceremony made their degrees official.
Below are the numbers of degrees conferred by each of Georgetown’s nine schools.
The McCourt School of Public Policy graduated more than 200 students – including 125 masters in public policy students, 71 students in the Masters in the Public Management program, 13 students who earned masters in international development policy degrees, 13 students who earned masters of science in data science for public policy degrees and five students who received degrees from the Executive Master in Policy Leadership program.
The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences graduated nearly 1,100 students. On the Main Campus, 91 received a Doctor of Philosophy, 250 a Master of Arts in the humanities and social sciences, and 465 a Master of Science in the natural and computational sciences. In Biomedical Graduate Education at the Georgetown University Medical Center, 27 students received a Doctor of Philosophy degree and 255 received a Master of Science in the biomedical sciences.
More than 950 students graduated from the McDonough School of Business – including 350 undergraduates, 380 graduates from the Master of Business Administration program, 45 graduates from the Executive Master’s in Business Administration program, 52 from the Executive Master’s in Leadership program, 103 graduates from the Master of Science in Finance program, and 31 graduates from the inaugural class of Master’s in Management program.
The School of Continuing Studies graduated more than 900 students – bestowing more than 800 master of professional studies degrees, 50 executive Master of Professional Studies degrees, 20 Master of Arts in Liberal Studies degrees, 8 Doctor of Liberal Studies degrees and 22 Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies degrees.
Georgetown College bestowed 753 Bachelor of Arts degrees and 158 Bachelor of Science degrees on its students.
The School of Nursing & Health Studies graduated about 110 Bachelor of science students, 320 Master of Science students and 30 doctoral students.
The School of Foreign Service granted 374 bachelor’s degrees and 435 master’s degrees to its students.