Celebrate the Class of 2020



Alumni, parents, friends, and community members are excited to honor YOU—members of the class of 2020. Check out this video filled with well-wishes, advice, and words of encouragement. Join the fun! Post your video or written well wishes for the Class of 2020 on social media using the hashtag #ur2020.


To the class of 2020: 

My heart goes out to you because I know these are not how you imagined and hoped your final days of Senior year would play out. There are no words that can take away the loss of what was supposed to be such a joyous, celebratory time in your life, or ease the fear and concern that come with graduating during such an uncertain time. But know that there is an entire alumni community thinking of you and rooting for you. By graduating from UofR, you’ve already demonstrated an ability to overcome challenges and succeed. The Class of 2020 someday will be known as the class that faced tremendous adversity and was able to thrive. Take the time to appreciate all that you have accomplished and celebrate your graduation in the best way that you are able. You deserve it. Congratulations!!!!

Lara Chassin ‘02

To the Members of the U of R Class of 2020: 

You have invested so much time and energy during the last four years making your mark on the U of R community, and doing everything you could to achieve your goals. Now that the time has finally arrived for your long-anticipated Commencement, it is indeed an anticlimax to have to experience instead the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. My heart goes out to all of you, and I am so sorry that there will not be a normal series of events celebrating your awesome achievements. You certainly deserve to be celebrated!

Aside from whatever the University can do for the graduating Class of 2020 virtually, I am hoping that each of you will experience the joy of celebrating with your immediate family members, in person if possible. Having a small and intimate graduation get-together can be very worthwhile and memorable. The main thing to remember is what is most important, that you have achieved the long-awaited goal of being a graduating senior, and you have the rest of your life ahead of you to enjoy and to make your dreams a reality.

I expect to be attending and celebrating my 50th Class of 1971 reunion in 2021. Hopefully things in this country and the rest of the world will get back to some semblance of normal by then so that I can be a part of it, traveling from my home in Denver, Colorado to Rochester, New York. By that time, it is also my sincere hope that you will be well on your way to a very happy and successful life, and ultimately the achievement of all that you wish for.

With best regards and hearty congratulations,

Carol E. Mayer A&S Class of 1971 Marvin I. Mayer Simon School M.B.A. Class of 1971

Congratulations Class of 2020! You have worked so hard and you should immensely proud of everything you've accomplished. The world is already ever better with each and every one of you. Good luck with all of your future endeavors!

Marcelina Martynek,'18

Smile everybody you have earned a fabulous Education from a special place. As a Class of 55 graduate I know how valuable mine has been. You have a wonderful opportunity to contribute to this truly wonderful caring free Country. Just do it.

Don Brady ’55

Dear Class of 2020:

You are graduating at a momentous time in history. Those of us who graduated decades ago barely remember the day, except perhaps for a random moment, or from memories jogged by perusing old photos of the event. Below, a lyric from Stephen Sondheim’s incredibly eloquent “Into the Woods”:

“Oh, if life were made of moments
Even now and then a bad one
But if life were only moments
Then you’d never know you had one.”

Your class won’t have an event to remember or forget, but you will always remember the reason for that. This is a moment - a bad one. Use this moment to find inspiration, courage, determination, clarity, purpose… and you will remember this moment forever. To quote Sondheim again, this time from “Sunday in the Park with George”:

“Stop worrying where you’re going
Move on
If you can know where you’re going
You’ve gone
Just keep moving on.”

Charlie Symington, ’80, ‘81S (MBA)
Maggie Symington

Dear new member of engineering profession.

Here’s how I see it:

In “professing” to yourself, other members of the engineering profession, and society at large that you are now member of the engineering profession, you “professed” the following:

  1. That you have specialized knowledge, skills and ability within the body of knowledge that comprises the engineering profession.
  2. You have apply you knowledge skills and ability in accordance with the code of ethics of the engineering profession, and
  3. You accept the jurisdiction of the engineering profession over your professional competency and compliance with its code of ethics.
Additionally, as I see it, our profession of engineering holds humanity’s unprecedented global civilization in its collective hands. Absent the engineered underpinning of our civilization performing their designed functions, there is large scale, if not near total, civilizational collapse, with billions of attendant unnatural deaths. Like it or not.

So, Hajim School graduates of 2020 – what is it going to be? Will the year 2120 find a just, peaceable, and sustainable global order on planet earth – the dream of humanity, at least since beginning recorded history – or a burnt-out, depopulated, cinder?

I say what you do and why in defending and advancing our profession of engineering, its code of ethics, and service to the common good is relevant to those outcomes. I also say that “suffering persecution for justice’s sake (Matthew 5:10)” is not necessarily to be shunned because to do other that bystand to wrongdoing you may witness in our profession or your employment may be, shall I say, “inconvenient” to your professional standing and economic security.”

Joe Carson, PE, BSME 1976

Hi Class of 2020,

This is Sarah from Class 2012. I just want to tell you guys we are all very proud of what you have achieved. Graduating during a pandemic is definitely difficult. I graduated in a year economy just started to recover from a recession as well. I was fortunate to get a job and it built a good foundation for my career. As long as you don’t give up and be confident about yourself, things would just get better and better from here. Good luck to you all!

Sarah Han ’12

Congratulations Class of 2020! You did it!! 🎉🎉

Joy Chiang, Class of 2015

Congratulations to the Class of 2020 of the University of Rochester

We wish particular BEST WISHES to the Residents and Post-Graduate students completing your programs at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health. We hope that your time at EIOH has proven to be even better than what you expected. You are leaving as well-trained professionals and have the opportunity and obligation to use your skills and knowledge to make the world a better place.

You will be impacting so many people in so many locations. Some of you may stay locally, some in other states in the US and many will be returning to countries around the globe. Wherever you will be, always be proud of your training at EIOH and, as your success grows, please remember to be generous as a life-long supporter of an institution which has prepared you so well.

All the Best, the Calnon Family
Dr. William Calnon ‘79D (DEN)
Dr. Christopher Calnon ’09D (DEN)
Dr. Jennifer Calnon ’09D (DEN)
Dr. Timothy Calnon ‘15D (DEN), ‘15D (MS)
Dr. Lauren Vitkus ‘16D (DEN), ‘16D (MS)

Congratulations Class of 2020!! You did it! Welcome to the UR Alumni family. Meliora!
Brittany Hopkins, Class of 2014

To the Class of 2020,
Congratulations on all your accomplishments, big and small, that helped get you where you are: graduation from one of the world's greatest universities. Reflect on those moments and take pride in the work you've done not just for yourself, but also for those around you. Today's challenges, daunting though they may seem, will give way to tomorrow's opportunities. That's the spirit of Meliora and it will be with you wherever you go in life. Best wishes.

Adam Konowe '90, P'21

In this quickly changing world, there is one thing that won’t ever change: you will forever be a U of R grad. Yet, as the first Rochester president said, “[Y]our work is but begun.” Congratulations!

Charlotte DeCroes Jacobs, Class of ’68

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