Dear CHSS Class of 2020,
Way back, seemingly a long, long time ago, we started the spring semester bustling around campus, sitting in classes and looking forward to this day when you could stand proudly while your friends and family and we, your faculty and staff and the Deans Office, could join in celebrating your achievements. We have heard from many of you and know that the fact that we are at home in lockdown instead is deeply disappointing. We too are mourning the loss of this chance to enjoy a day dedicated to recognizing you. As a new Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, I was particularly excited about this day. But, alas, we are at home.
As disappointing as it is, I want to remind you that this is one day on a long path and the path is the important thing, not the day. We shouldn’t lose sight of that. I want to share an experience from my life. I met my wife 31 years ago and have been very happily married for 30 years as of next month. But, our wedding day didn’t quite fit the storybook wedding. Between in-laws arguing and rain in the beautiful garden of our outdoor wedding, it doesn’t rank amongst my wife and my favorite days. But, it was one day on a long road with many happy memories since.
Similarly, you have come to MSU to get an education and we have taught you, developed some very important skills, and offered you a wide array of experiences. Most importantly, we’ve worked to help you become life-long learners so that you can create the most rewarding, meaningful and successful lives and careers possible, whatever that may mean to you. Graduation is a day on your path of development and exploration and that path is what matters most.
Reaching this point with your degree in hand – especially in the midst of a pandemic and lockdown — is a great testament to your will, perseverance and talent. We are so proud of you and your achievements at MSU. On behalf of the College and the Dean’s Office, I wanted to wish you congratulations on reaching this day. As you go forward, please do stay in touch with us – whether it’s your department or a favorite faculty or staff member, or even the Dean’s Office. We want to hear about the adventures you’re about to set out on.
As soon as it’s possible to make firm plans, President Cole will announce how we will be able to celebrate graduation in person. For now, all my best to you and your proud families.
Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Montclair State University