May 22, 2021

Susquehanna University welcomed the Class of 2020 in their triumphant return to campus for their long-awaited Commencement ceremony, following the abrupt termination of their senior year experience due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Class of 2020, for 442 days, I have been waiting to say this: Welcome home,” University President Jonathan Green said to the approximately 300 graduates and their families gathered in the James W. Garrett Sports Complex Field House. To ensure a safe environment for all involved in Commencement exercises, Susquehanna hosted graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020 at two separate times over Saturday, May 22. Graduates were grouped by majors.

Of all of the lessons Green said the graduates learned over the past year, he held two lessons above all others — the importance of community and the regret of loose ends and things left undone or unsaid.

“So many of you shared with me that the toughest part of last spring was not being able to say goodbye or to savor one last ‘fill in the blank.’ That is an invaluable lesson,” Green said. “Every time you end a conversation or leave a place, think about the thing you would regret not saying if you didn’t get a chance for the next conversation. What would you regret not doing if you couldn’t return to a place?”

Sudip Bose, M.D., virtually delivered the keynote address to a live audience at the ceremony.

Bose is an emergency medicine physician, combat veteran, professor and entrepreneur. He was recognized as a CNN Hero for serving as the U.S. physician who treated former Iraq President Saddam Hussein after his capture. Bose served in the military for 12 years; his 15-month deployment to Iraq was one of the longest continuous combat tours by a military physician since World War II, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star. In 2014, Bose founded The Battle Continues, a nonprofit organization that helps veterans fight health battles beyond combat. Currently, Bose splits his time as a practicing emergency physician at the Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, Texas, and teaching as a clinical professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the University of Illinois College of Medicine.

Graduates received their degrees ceremoniously as Green conferred their degrees virtually in May 2020.

“Class of 2020: You are brilliant, strong, resilient, filled with grace, and poised to make our world better,” Green said. “In the year since you officially graduated from Susquehanna, you have continued to make a growing impact on your communities and our world, and this is just the beginning. You entered a world of unprecedented complexity and challenge, but I am hopeful because I know what you can do. I am so proud of you, of what you have accomplished, and even prouder of what you will achieve.”