Although the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted so many facets of society over the past couple of months, that’s not stopping the Lurie College of Education at San Jose State University from organizing a live graduation celebration to recognize its more than 500 Spring 2020 graduates (and soon-to-be alumni)!
This is an incredibly significant moment for our graduates, their support networks, our Lurie College of Education community, and our society as a whole. College commencement ceremonies are a rite of passage for students every year who have worked tirelessly to prepare themselves for the next chapters in their lives. While we are saddened that we are not able to celebrate with our graduates in person at this time as a result of COVID-19, we are proud of how our entire Lurie College community of students, faculty, and staff have responded and persevered during this pandemic, and so it’s our priority to celebrate virtually with our graduates to acknowledge their accomplishments and bring some closure to their academic experiences with us. We look forward to welcoming our graduates back to campus and celebrating in person together at the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 Commencement events. – Dean Heather Lattimer
The Lurie College Graduation Celebration will take place online on Friday, May 22, at 4pm and begin with a college-wide ceremony that will include remarks from Dean Heather Lattimer, Associate Dean Marcos Pizarro, and student speaker Giselle Arellano, who is graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Development.
It feels really special to be the graduation speaker, especially during these times. When I was first selected as the speaker, it was more of an ‘I did it’ moment as a first-generation student of an immigrant family and someone who is representing that small percentage of graduating Latinas all over the world. Now it feels like I am the person who is able to voice what I’m hearing from my fellow classmates, my friends, from those who are graduating from other departments. Many of us are feeling the same sadness about not being able to celebrate in person, but we still feel very accomplished and made it to a point where, even though the odds may not be in our favor right now, we still can celebrate and know that ‘we did it’! – Giselle Arellano
Each Spring 2020 graduate will also be recognized during the college-wide ceremony. Lurie College graduates, faculty, and staff have been invited to attend the event live and family and friends are invited to watch the ceremony live on the Lurie College YouTube channel.
After the college-wide ceremony, each Lurie College department – Child & Adolescent Development, Communicative Disorders & Sciences, Counselor Education, EdD Leadership, Special Education, and Teacher Education – is hosting an online reception to include remarks from faculty chairpersons, individualized slideshows, and socializing among graduates, faculty, and staff to close out the academic year.
Since this year’s experience is entirely digital, Lurie College has created some other digital items to enhance the experience, such as:
- A custom Zoom background for graduates to use during their department receptions
- A custom Facebook frame for graduates to show their pride in becoming a new SJSU Lurie College of Education alumni
- A digital image to share on social media
- A custom Snapchat lens to use on the desktop application Snapcamera to integrate with Zoom
San Jose State University as a whole is honoring and celebrating all Spring 2020 graduates by launching graduate recognition websites, which will go live on Friday, May 22. Learn more about the San Jose State University graduate recognition websites on the SJSU Newsroom website.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s faces and feeling that overall sense of relief in knowing that, while this journey seemed daunting at first, I’m finally able to say ‘I’m a graduate’ and complete something that I’ve been working towards for so long. Overall, this all feels very surreal and amazing! – Giselle Arellano