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“Believe in yourself, love yourself, and embrace your authenticity.” Class of 2020 Honored in Virtual Ceremony

by Janelle Hill May 16, 2020

DeSales University celebrated the Class of 2020 and all of its contributions with a virtual conferral of degrees ceremony. 

The University conferred degrees upon 497 students, including undergraduates, graduates, and ACCESS students. An additional 107 students, who have either already received their degrees or who will be receiving them in the next several months, were also recognized. 

As graduates’ names were read, a slide on the screen displayed their name and degree, along with a photo and quote if submitted. Domita White, who graduated with her MBA, delivered the invocation while Kayla Homan, senior class president, offered words of welcome. 

“While we ended the year in an unexpected fashion, filled with Zoom sessions, TikToks, and virtual hangouts, there are so many memories to look back on and a future full of prosperity and unwavering dedication to our respective fields."

 Kayla Homan, senior class president

Homan thanked the teachers, faculty, and staff at DeSales for their commitment and dedication to students, and reflected on the friendships created, the memories made, and the many virtues of St. Francis de Sales learned over the years, particularly patience. She also took the words of St. Francis to heart and explained how the message of “be who you are and be that well” will continue to be important as students enter the next phase of their lives. 

“We may face challenges but if we can hold onto our unique selves and embrace the way God made us, you have no idea the impact we will have on others,” she said. “Believe in yourself, love yourself, and embrace your authenticity. We each have our own mark to leave on the world but this will only occur if we can use the talents that so beautifully make us who we are.” 

Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, president of DeSales, also congratulated the Class of 2020 and offered words of wisdom. Even though he admitted to being disappointed that commencement could not be held in person, he said the virtual ceremony is still a moment that needed to be celebrated. 

“I think we’ve all been in a master class with this pandemic that we’re living through. And you—the Class of 2020—have succeeded in this master class. In fact, I give all of you an A plus for improvisation. Believe it or not, improv is a skill that we may not have thought was necessary, but it’s a skill that we’ve had to somehow cultivate during this pandemic and beyond.”

 Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, president of DeSales

The ceremony ended with a montage of faculty members from across campus congratulating all of the graduates. The University is still working to host an on-campus celebration for the Class of 2020 in the fall, possibly during Homecoming weekend in September.  

The full video of the DeSales University 2020 Virtual Commencement can be seen, along with a wall of social media posts tagged with #DeSalesU2020, at