Subtitles and Closed Captions
- Welcome to the University of Iowa's
2020 Spring Commencement.
I offer my heartiest congratulations to all the graduates
at this very special moment in your lives.
And I also want to extend a special thanks
to all the family, friends, teachers, and mentors
who've played a crucial role
in your achievements and your success.
Graduates, don't ever forget that many people
helped get you here today.
And remember to help others in your lives.
We're recognizing your graduation this year in a unique way,
but our pride in your accomplishments remains as strong
and bright as at any Iowa commencement.
As always, we stand together as Hawkeyes today
with strength, purpose, and pride.
We are honored to send you,
our professional school graduates,
off as part of the great Iowa legacy.
If you're staying in Iowa to practice
or continue your education,
you'll be joining an impressive
professional community of Iowa alumni.
If you're moving on elsewhere,
we're grateful that you will be bringing
your knowledge and Iowa excellence
to your new communities beyond our state's borders.
We know that you will represent yourself, your university,
and your profession with honor and integrity,
and that you will make people's lives better
through your compassion, your talent,
and your newly minted skills.
We will always welcome you back to our campus
and we do in fact hope you will be able to join us again
for an in-person graduation ceremony in the coming year.
Once again, congratulations, good luck,
and best wishes for great success
in the wonderful years that lie ahead of you.
We are very, very proud of you.
- On behalf of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa,
I congratulate each and every one of you graduating today.
The most essential mission of Iowa's Public Universities
is the education of our citizens
for lives of prosperity and service.
Today, we celebrate the successful completion
I once have known from the beginning of statehood,
that knowledge, critical thinking
and cultural understanding are essential
to students' success, and happiness
and to the well being of the state and our larger society.
We celebrate the value of education in our state
our wonderful graduates of the University of Iowa.
Today you embark on an exciting new chapter of your life.
You will enjoy many personal and professional successes.
You will share your talents
to create a better future for us all.
And as you do, take pride in being the shining example
of how support from all of the people of Iowa
and our public representatives in government
is essential to the foundation in education
that underscores the strength
of the state of Iowa as well as our entire state.
Once again, congratulations to you all.
The Board of Regents, State of Iowa,
is very proud now to call you alumni
of the University of Iowa.
- Graduating students, family, and friends.
We are all heartbroken that we can't be together in person
on this special day, and that you are not enjoying
the grand celebration you deserve,
surrounded by your peers, family, friends,
and the faculty and staff who have cheered you along the way
and who are all so proud of you.
I am personally deeply disappointed
that I will not be able to shake your hand
as you walk across the stage,
and congratulate you in person.
But even if I can only do so virtually,
it is no less of a privilege and a joy for me
to celebrate the dedicated endeavor,
accomplishments, and unique qualities
of our graduating class of spring 2020.
Graduates, you should be so proud of what you have achieved.
Please know that we could not be more proud of you,
and we are honored to have traveled
with you on your academic journey.
I hope you will also remember
that what you have accomplished
and what you have gained during your time with us
cannot be conveyed with a transcript
or summarized in a diploma.
For in addition to receiving the highest quality education
inside and outside the classroom,
you have received an education in life from each other.
You have formed irreplaceable friendships
with your peers and with your mentors,
relationships formed during good times and bad.
You have faced daunting challenges,
including this unprecedented spring semester,
and you have navigated them
with resilience and determination.
Those qualities, and those relationships,
no matter where your journey takes you next.
As you leave this university, your university,
you are carrying on a long tradition of excellence.
Go forward with confidence.
Do great things, large and small.
I know you will always be proud
to call the University of Iowa your alma mater,
just as we will always be proud to claim you
as a member of the Hawkeye family.
Congratulations, Class of 2020!
Dean of the College of Public Health.
It's my tremendous honor to speak to you today
as we mark this most important occasion:
The commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020.
Today, we are not able to gather in person
to celebrate this milestone in your life
and the life of our college and University.
We are missing out on most of the academic traditions
and ceremonies, the family events
that typically accompany graduation.
There is no way to cover that over:
it is a tremendous disappointment for everyone
at our University, particularly you our graduates.
But even as we recognize these difficulties,
I don't want this moment to pass without also acknowledging
some of the truly remarkable accomplishments
in your academic and personal life,
your courage and determination to begin this journey;
your dedication and hard work
to complete a rigorous academic program;
and the sacrifices you and your loved ones
made to reach this point.
Each of you has traveled a unique path to this day,
faced and overcome your own unique challenges,
and discovered strength and resolve
that will carry you forward for the rest of your life.
I am delighted to congratulate you on these accomplishments.
I would like to direct a few remarks
to the graduates of our bachelor's program.
Four years ago, when we launched
the new undergraduate program in public health,
we knew that the Class of 2020
would occupy a unique and historic place in our college.
You are the first cohort to complete
a public health bachelor's program in the state of Iowa.
In many ways, you helped us build and shape this program.
Your pioneering spirit and your enthusiasm for public health
have been hallmarks of your class.
Your energy and fearlessness
will always be your legacy here at Iowa,
and I trust wherever you go in the future.
And to all our graduates,
I think you know today that the mission of public health
has never been more critical than it is right now.
The public health skills you have learned
in your coursework and research programs
and the values you live out every day
are the key to addressing the current pandemic,
preventing future global health disasters,
and ensuring a more just, secure future for everyone.
On behalf of the College of Public Health,
I congratulate you, graduates.
Your future, our future, is very bright and all of us
at the University of Iowa wish you the very best.
- Good evening, I'm Margaret Chorazy,
Director of the Undergraduate Program
in the College of Public Health.
Tonight we celebrate an important chapter
in our college's history as we celebrate the accomplishments
of the first graduating class of public health major.
To the graduates, today I could not be more proud of you,
and though we cannot celebrate in person,
know that we are cheering loudly for you now.
You have left an indelible mark on this college,
you have shaped this program and made it better.
I've said it before and I will never stop saying it
to anyone who will listen, you are truly amazing people
and we are all better for having had the opportunity
to take this journey with you.
You will change the world.
Your parents, family and friends,
thank you for supporting our graduates
You've been there for the good times and the tough times
with words of encouragement and acts of kindness,
with shoulders to cry on and the patience to listen.
To our faculty, staff, and public health partners,
we would not be here today without your commitment
to education and student success.
The pioneering spirit and enthusiasm of our graduates
as referenced by Dean Parker
"is matched only by your propensity for innovation
"and excellence in teaching in and out of the classroom."
You accepted the challenge and stayed along for the ride,
we will never find enough ways to say thank you.
Congratulations to all of our graduates.
I look forward to hearing about the next chapter
in each of your lives and the contributions
that you will undoubtedly make to improve the health
of our local and global communities.
- When I imagined what it would be like
to sit through commencement
for the first undergraduate class
of the College of Public Health at the University of Iowa,
never in a million years would I have imagined it this way.
I imagined us sitting side by site,
wearing our caps and gowns, surrounded by family,
friends and the incredible professors
that put up with us for four years.
Yet, we study public health,
we knew something like this
was bound to happen in our lifetime,
we knew a virus like this could easily become a pandemic
and we also knew we wouldn't be ready for one when it came.
Yet, every day as we learn more,
I continue to be astounded and sometimes in disbelief,
but I also find myself laughing about how ironic it is
to be having a virtual graduation
for the first class of public health majors
because we're in the middle of a pandemic.
And even trying to think of what to say to you all
to summarize our time together,
I can't help but think about it.
It's impossible to avoid and it's all consuming.
It's hard to click through the news and have any reaction
other than anger or confusion.
But then, amongst the press conferences,
the arguments, the updated death tolls,
there's a story of people cheering on healthcare workers
on their way to the frontline.
There's a story of people going out of their way
to help their neighbors during this time
There was even a story of an elderly woman in a nursing home
requesting more Coors Light.
And it's stories like these that remind us
of our humanity and that give us hope.
And that's something we need right now
because we will move past this
and life will return to normal someday.
We will have to go out there and find real adult jobs,
but the good news is I think public health
is a pretty popular field right now.
to be infectious disease epidemiologists,
we'll be doctors, health administrators, policy makers.
We will be the ones to take on the health issues
We will fight for health equity
in a healthcare system that works for everyone.
When this is all over, and it will end eventually,
this group of leaders is going to change the world,
and even in a time of extreme uncertainty,
that is something I'm confident in.
So here's to the undergraduate class of 2020,
a graduation that is truly historic.
Graduating from any degree is an accomplishment,
but we did it with online classes, Zoom meetings
We persevered through loading screens,
bad Wi-Fi connections, changing class circumstances,
not to mention we have a pandemic going on,
and here we stand, sit, congregate virtually?
Our language, like our society,
is unprepared for an outbreak like this.
Human civilization is built on connection, not distance.
Yet through it all, we persevered
Our time in person together was cut short,
but before it was, I will take away memories
like getting to read my fiction in public for the first time
at the College of Public Health,
or getting to watch my friend Juan Gudino DJ and MC
the talent show and the graduate school formal.
And I got to meet my personal heroes
like Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha.
Yet the isolation still cuts deep,
I know I'm not the only one who misses seeing my friends
before a classroom or running into acquaintances
in the halls and computer labs,
or having friends that I could drop in on
I miss sitting down in the recording room
with the rest of my podcast teams
just to bounce ideas off each other and record.
And here in graduation, walking and receiving a degree
just won't be a part of our story.
In the midst of the pride at our accomplishment,
it is okay to sit down and mourn what wasn't.
It is okay to take a moment and grieve what we lost
even as we celebrate what we have achieved
But after that moment where we process and reflect,
we must steal ourselves to serve a world
that so desperately needs us.
If nothing else, this crisis has shown
the world needs public health expertise and passion.
This extends just beyond the pandemic in front of our faces.
All the inequalities, injustices and chronic conditions
that we studied together are just as dire
and from what we have seen so far,
they will likely increase in their harms
while we are all distanced.
But just as we arose to meet the challenge in our studies
and in our changing circumstances,
we will overcome these problems.
People in this city, in this state,
in this country and in this nation and world
We are capable of so much,
we have the passion and knowledge.
I hope that this crisis gives us the impetus
to turn this world upside down
and fulfill our calling as public health practitioners
to bring health to all people.
So, congratulations to each and everyone of you
who have endured so much to obtain your degree.
Never forget how much it took
and may we make the world a better place together.
- We will now honor the candidates
for the bachelor's degrees.
President Harreld, these candidates
have completed the degree requirements
for their respective bachelor's degrees
and are recommended to you by the Public Health Faculty
for the conferral of these degrees.
- On the recommendation of the Public Health Faculty
and by the authority invested in me
by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa,
I confer on each of you the degree
of Bachelor of Public Health as qualified and designated.
- [Female Narrator] Maya Altemeier with University Honors,
with Highest Distinction.
Ashley Elizabeth Anderson.
Alda Yvette Akouvi Dansou, with High Distinction.
Madysen Ashlee Doherty with University Honors,
with Highest Distinction.
Leighton Hill, with University Honors,
with Highest Distinction.
Kayla MacDonald, with Highest Distinction.
Kathleen Erin May, with University Honors,
Mikaela Mikkelsen, with Highest Distinction.
Autumn Rose Moen, with High Distinction.
Meghan Madelaine Razimoff, with Highest Distinction.
Montana Maureen Scott, with High Distinction.
Elliot Adler Smith, with University Honors.
Meg SmolikHagen, with University Honors.
Alexander William Syverud, with High Distinction.
Darian Thompson, with High Distinction.
Nicolette Antonia Tumbarello.
Clare Marie Willey, with Highest Distinction.
Austin Au Yang Wu, with Highest Distinction.
- [Male Narrator] Dr. Avanthi Ajjarapu.
Kaitlan Marie Christensen.
Dexter Ralph Golinghorst.
Andrea Paulette Greathouse.
Mahmoud Manouchehri Amoli.
Maureen Elizabeth Martin.
Dinesh Chandra Voruganti.
Alithea Nell Charlson Zorn.
- Greetings, fellow graduates!
I know what a momentous day
and occasion this is for all of you.
I also know that the degree you've earned
will take you places that you never dreamed possible.
That is what happened to me,
it allowed me to have a great career in corporate America,
co-author two books and start a successful
executive search practice in New York City.
My University of Iowa education
opened doors for me I never thought possible.
You've most likely heard the expression,
"Once a Hawkeye, always a Hawkeye."
As you stand on the brink of a multitude of possibilities,
ready to begin a new adventure,
I hope you'll hold that mantra close to your heart.
20 years ago, I gave a commencement speech
at the Henry B. Tippie College of Business
and the three messages I shared then still hold true today.
Reflect, connect and stretch.
I hope that as you go through life,
you will reflect on your days at Iowa,
make it a priority to connect to people you know
and all over the globe you'll get to know,
and always stretch yourself
beyond what you believe is possible.
I know that Iowa graduates across the globe
are ready to support you on whatever path you choose.
They're waiting to share their success stories,
to hire you and to mentor you.
They're opening the doors to their alumni clubs
and inviting you to join them in supporting
your alma mater that launched your life's journey,
No matter where we are on the map,
Iowa alumni stay connected.
And we're always better when we work together.
Please make it a priority to come back to campus
I'm a New Yorker, but I did that.
I came back to Iowa to serve on the University of Iowa
Standard for Advancement Board,
a true honor to be at that table,
and being connected to my fellow graduates
has enriched my life in ways I never thought possible.
So as you celebrate this momentous day and rite of passage,
and embark on a new relationship with the University,
remember that you're a Hawkeye for life,
and that Hawkeyes change the world,
as I know all of you will.
Congratulations on your University of Iowa graduation
and welcome to the alumni family!
- Congratulations class of 2020, go Hawkeyes!
- We are proud of you and love you, congratulations!
- Thanks Mom and Dad, go Hawks.
- We are so proud of you.
- Wishing you all the best in your post-grad studies.
- Congratulations Alisha, we're so proud of you
in all of your hard work to make it to this day.
- We love you, fantastic job.
- [Both] Congratulations, Marisa, you did it!
- You made your mom really proud, buddy.
- We're so proud of you, Elizabeth
and everything you've accomplished
as the first graduating class of Public Health.
- Guifeng, I want to tell you how proud I am
of your diligence and graduating with your PhD.
- Congratulations, Kathleen
for receiving your degree in Public Health.
- We are so proud of you.
- It's really simple, Olivia Moran is a world-class student,
an awesome Hawkeye, fade to black, tagline required,
(speaking in foreign language)
- We're really proud of you in what you've achieved
at University of Iowa and we love you.
- [Both] Congratulations!
♪ Come all alums of Iowa ♪
♪ And blend your voices true ♪
♪ Sing praises to our Alma Mater ♪
♪ We drink a toast to you ♪
♪ We pledge our everlasting love ♪
- Hello, College of Public Health graduates,
this is Cori Peek-Asa, the Associate Dean for Research,
and I wanna say congratulation on graduating.
It's kind of a sucky way to close it out,
but it doesn't take anything away
from the importance of your achievements in graduating.
One of the skills you've learned
as a student in public health
has been to think strategically,
to think about prevention,
to think about the population level
and how to get to vulnerable populations.
You are gonna be critical in the future
of keeping us healthy and safe,
and I feel very optimistic about our future in your hands.
- Congratulations to the first College of Public Health
Good luck with you guys, good health,
do your best and always feel free
to reach out to Laurie and me.
- And even though we can't give you a hug or a handshake,
we are grateful that you have been part of our lives.
Congratulations class of 2020!
- Congratulations to the 2020 class
of the College of Public Health.
I know this is not how you envisioned your day,
especially after all of your hard work,
you wanted to spend that time with your classmates,
getting photos, walking across the stage,
and of course, hugging your friends once more
before they scatter across the country.
And I'm sorry that you're missing that.
However, we need you now more than ever,
we need your ideas, we need your energy,
we need your ingenuity and we need your enthusiasm
so that we can build the public health that we wanna see.
Everybody in the world right now
is looking at public health.
This is an opportunity for us to set the scale
for what we want to see moving forward,
and I'm so excited to have you
on this righteous sight with me.
So, congratulations, best of luck to you.
Welcome to the field of public health
where there's adversity and excitement and opportunity,
and always an opportunity to find a solution.