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Worth the Wait: Class of 2020 Honored with On-Campus Commencement Ceremony

by Janelle Hill Aug 16, 2021

Nearly 200 members of the Class of 2020 returned to Center Valley for the celebration they’ve been waiting for. 

As promised, the University hosted a special on-campus Commencement more than one year after the graduates received their diplomas during a virtual conferral of degrees ceremony. 

Samantha Mullin ’20, who served as executive president of the Student Government Association (SGA), delivered the invocation, while Kayla Homan ’20, class president, welcomed her fellow alums back to their second home. 

“It is almost surreal to think we are here today graduating from college a year, two months, 28 days late, but who’s counting. When DeSales promised us an in-person Commencement, I had no doubt they would do everything possible so that they could make this day happen.” 

 Kayla Homan '20, class president

Father James Greenfield, OSFS ’84, president of DeSales, congratulated what he called the most remarkable class in the history of the University for its flexibility, cooperation, and resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“You indeed are the Winston Churchill of college classes. You were cheated out on centaur walks, senior soirées, and in-class final exams … And, in an extremely uncertain time, you graduated into a global emergency that interrupted everything—and, as someone joked recently—in addition to your bachelor’s and graduate degrees, we should award all of you another degree in handling uncertainty,” Fr. Greenfield said before encouraging the class to maintain a culture of connection with the alumni community. 

Father Kevin Nadolski, OSFS, vice president for mission, then read each graduate’s name as they crossed the stage in full cap and gown to receive a certificate of gratitude. After all of the names were read, Brother Dan Wisniewski, OSFS, provost, recognized Homan and Mullin as the recipients of the President’s Medal and Emily Jacobson ’20, M’21 as the winner of the Provincial Medal of Honor. 

Dan Villanti ’09, director of alumni relations, formally welcomed the class into the DeSales alumni community, and Sydney Amato ’20 delivered the benediction to close out the ceremony. 

The on-campus Commencement was followed by a Mass in Connelly Chapel and a special sunset soirée at The Amore Family Plaza at Weiland Park, where the class presented its senior class gift, which will go toward the future development of a welcome center on campus.