St. Lawrence University holds class of 2020 commencement

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St. Lawrence University has received a $5 million lead gift from George W. Karpus ’68 towards the second phase of the Appleton Arena renovation and expansion project (photo: SLU)

ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY, N.Y. (WWTI) — St. Lawrence University’s class of 2020 got a chance to be together again and celebrate on August 1.

With almost 1,000 people in attendance at Newell Fieldhouse, more than 350 graduates returned for their graduation ceremony. While honoring the graduates, this also marked the first commencement for new St. Lawrence University President Kathryn A. Morris.

President Morris was also joined on stage by former President William L. Fox. Fox who served as the speaker of the commencement and delivered Sunday’s keynote address.

“If it were only about togetherness, they could have all gathered by Zoom for stories and cocktails,” Fox said.  “But if we are ever able to conquer the despair of loneliness, it will be by means of kindness. That is what we learned.”

Brendan Reilly of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania received the Trustee Academic Achievement Award. This award is given out to the graduate with the highest cumulative GPA, and Reilly’s final GPA was 3.985.

The Class of 2020 Joan Donovan Speech Contest winner, Vivian Susko, had spoken to attendees about goals, accomplishments, loss, and resiliency. The speech received a standing ovation from the crowd.

“Above all else, I’ve seen a group of human beings enter into a world on pause, a world that was fragile, and live and breathe resiliency. I’ve seen individuals who understand what it means to appreciate a moment before it’s gone go out into a broken world and plant seeds.” Susko said.

St. Lawrence University Class of 2020 did show resilience as more than 92% of the class of 2020 were either employed or enrolled in graduate school 7-9 months after graduating.

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