ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – On Saturday, April 25, North Carolina Wesleyan University held a virtual spring commencement celebration to honor the Class of 2020. The College announced on March 23 that the spring commencement ceremony would be postponed until December 5, 2020. In lieu of a physical ceremony, the College wanted to do something special to honor its 222 seniors who graduated.
The virtual celebration included a welcome message from President Duff, baccalaureate address by Rev. Dr. Barry Drum and photos that the graduates submitted, along with their hometowns and majors. In addition, the graduates were treated to a surprise video from award-winning actress, Sharon Lawrence, who was originally scheduled to speak at the April ceremony. Lawrence has played in roles on NYPD Blue, Grey’s Anatomy and the CBS comedy, “Me, Myself and I.”
In her video, Lawrence addressed the graduates, stating “I’d like to talk to you today about sacrifice — something that we’ve heard of, but I think we all know a little more about now.” She went on to mention all of the sacrifices that are made in order to obtain a college degree, many of which she experienced herself. She specifically addressed the challenges and sacrifices that are a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. “But I never had to sacrifice my graduation service…the Class of 2020 did something unique.” She left the graduates with the hope that maybe they would all be able to celebrate together at the December ceremony.
This was the College’s 79th graduation, with the first occurring in 1960. There were 10 international graduates from six countries: Argentina, Cambodia, Venezuela, England, Nepal and Italy. This commencement also included the third cohort of Wesleyan’s new Master’s in Criminal Justice program.