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2020 Class Address

Gabrielle Picca, president of the Class of 2020

Senior year was never supposed to be easy, especially second semester. Many of us entered this year telling ourselves “this is my year to graduate”. Feelings of excitement of having a few more months with friends and classmates but also feelings of anxiety for having to finding a job, relocating and starting a new chapter in our life. This year was already a major time of uncertainty for many of us.

"Then March 17th, or “doomsday” hit. The day we received the email that Ithaca College would be remote for the rest of the semester."

Instead of celebrating my Irish heritage that day, I found myself crying in bed with overwhelming feelings of loss and devastation that the final moments of my senior year were gone.

The spring semester of senior year is usually a time to bask in your hard work and to celebrate all your accomplishments. It is a time filled with “lasts” and “goodbyes” with close friends and peers. The more I began to think about what was taken from me, the more my sadness turned into anger. I began to ask myself “why me? why my year of all years?”

As I calmed down, I recognized that I believe that the Universe would never give a challenge to someone who couldn’t handle it. And I began to realize the many obstacles that the Class of 2020 has already overcome.

Many of us started our education in September of 2001, with one of the largest tragedies our country has ever seen. We came to campus in the Fall of 2016, where both our campus and country were undergoing major, controversial administration changes. Since we began our time on campus we lost a professor, Sue-Je Gage, and my dear friend Jase Barrack. At this time I would like to take a moment of silence to remember them as well as to remember family, friends, and others whose lives were lost since our college careers began.

In addition to these major challenges that our class faced, there were also many individual battles and struggles fought. Many call our generation “lazy” and “entitled” but I believe the Class of 2020 is resilient and adaptive. We have withstood tragedies, loss, and struggles and yet we still continue to fight.

"We are starting our lives at the forefront of change in this world. Our class will continue to have the strong-will and grit to shape this world into one that is fair and just for all. We will continue to let adversity drive our passion and fuel our souls."

Class of 2020, the future is still uncertain, but we should take comfort and pride in all that we have been through and know that we can continue to be strong through the many challenges we will continue to see.

I am proud to be a part of the Class of 2020, especially the Ithaca College Class of 2020. Although our time at IC was cut short, I am beyond grateful for the time that I did have and hope that you look back at your time at IC with gratitude and joy as well. I can’t wait to see you all again in June for our first Alumni Weekend.

I want to thank my family, housemates, friends, boyfriend, executive board, mentors and professors for the unconditional love and support throughout this journey. CONGRATS GRADUATES. We are Class of 2020 strong.