LOS ANGELES - Undeterred by the circumstances USC graduate Christiana Cobb-Dozier says, "The world needs us more than ever!" With that attitude, some 19,000 USC grads got to have their big day even if it was never supposed to be like this.
"This is a ceremony for the record books," proclaimed USC President Carol Folt as she welcomed Trojans from around the world online to watch a very different kind of graduation through pictures and speeches.
In remarks online she says, "First, I want to congratulate our over 19,000 soon to be graduates." Using ZOOM, YouTube and various video production techniques it had all of the important and usual messaging of a graduation.
The President said, "Trust yourself, remain true to your heart and to your values."
There was a nod to the public health crisis that made this kind of graduation necessary and the significant impact of USC's Students.
Folt said, "Because I've seen you in action all year and I've seen you shine in the face of the pandemic. It isn't easy right now. Many people are suffering. but, you stepped up to deal with your upended plans and deferred dreams. You've volunteered at food banks. You've helped at hospitals and clinics; spent hours on COVID-19 research and boxed PPE for medical workers."
Like all University graduations individual colleges had their own ceremonies -- virtual ceremonies!
At the Rossier School of Education ceremony masters grad Christiana Cobb-Dozier said, "We did it! I know this isn't how any of us pictured graduation day nonetheless your accomplishments matter."
And, to grads like Cobb-Dozier the faculty gave a tip of the mortarboard -- so to speak saying things like, "We want to congratulate you on reaching this important milestone."
On this day Gov. Newsom and the first partner of California took a moment to honor all grads all over the state.
Jennifer Siebel Newsom said, "we are so proud of you." The Governor following along with, "And, no one can take it away from you. I know a lot of us are filled with a little bit of fear... a little bit of anxiety about this being the new normal. It is not the new normal. We'll get through this. We've got to get through this together."
Meanwhile, there were some things that didn't change like USC's memorable fight song and their mantra... "fight on!"