Though unable to conduct traditional graduation festivities, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) recognized the grace and determination with which its Class of 2020 overcame the trials and hardships brought on by a pandemic with in its first-ever virtual graduation tribute.
Lori Rice-Spearman, Ph.D., TTUHSC interim president and provost, hosted the tribute. The program also included other special guests who appeared via video.
“The Class of 2020 faced many unexpected and unprecedented adversities during the final months of their academic careers due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Rice-Spearman said. “Despite the challenges, they remained dedicated and continued to achieve and excel. Their actions, strength and resiliency demonstrate that TTUHSC students and health care workers can rise to meet the most formidable circumstances. This will be their legacy and they deserve this special recognition to celebrate what they have accomplished.”
Lindsay Johnson, associate dean for admissions and student affairs for the School of Health Professions, helped organize the event. She said students have worked hard to reach the graduation milestone and the program was planned to honor that work that seems more remarkable when viewed from the perspective of the COVID-19 crisis.
To mark the occasion, Johnson said each Class of 2020 graduate will receive a celebration box that includes various graduation-related items selected for them by their school.
“Graduation is the conclusion of a student’s academic career,” Johnson added. “We wanted to be able create an experience that honors their achievement, commitment and sacrifice toward the completion of their degree.”