The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of life, and university students have experienced a whirlwind of changes and cancellations throughout the past several weeks.
In a message to the MVNU Community on March 23, MVNU President Henry W. Spaulding !!, Ph.D. confirmed the worst fears of many MVNU seniors. “There will be no Commencement Exercises as scheduled for May 1-2,” the message read. However, rather than just cancelling the event, President Spaulding and the Senior Leadership Team were determined to find a way to celebrate graduating seniors. “We will be honoring our graduates,” President Spaulding promised.
“It’s okay to be sad,” said Student Body President Michael Mohnasky in a video to students, “But most importantly… community is still attainable, and we can still hold on to friendships and hold on to people that we’re close to.”
Senior Class President Nathan “NayNay” Parker offered this advice to students: “In a time like this where everything is constantly changing, take delight in the things that do stay constant… It’s the little things we have to make the most of to help get through a time like this.”
“Seniors, it’s good to acknowledge the things that you’ve lost,” said Tracy Waal, VP for Student Life, while standing on the steps of the Eternal Flame. “We will be placing a ribbon, representing the pending graduating class of 2020, in hopes that someday we will be together at this place to do something like this as a celebration.”
“May this ribbon be a symbol of hope,” said Waal.
On March 25, President Spaulding announced that, “conditioned upon directives from the state of Ohio and the CDC,” commencement for the graduating class of 2020 would be held on Saturday, August 15.
Photo: Student Body President Michael Mohnasky (left) and Senior Class President Nathan "NayNay" Parker (right) wrapped the Eternal Flame in a blue "MVNU 2020" ribbon as VP of Student Life Tracy Waal (center) addressed students.