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Ithaca College Celebrates Graduates Virtually

Contributed by News on 05/17/20 

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Even though Ithaca College seniors were scattered far from campus for this year’s graduation, that didn’t mean that the more than 1,300 members of the Ithaca College Class of 2020 couldn’t celebrate and be celebrated on Sunday, May 17, 2020.

Ithaca College President Shirley M. Collado shared a video message with graduates and the campus community, in which she formally conferred degrees.  

“I know that when you woke up this morning, this was supposed to be the day we celebrated one of your greatest milestones, in person, together,” said Collado. "You’ve given us so much talent and gifts, things that we will be eternally grateful for, but I’m here to tell you that we’re with you. Your IC family is strong, and we could not be prouder.”

The video includes messages from prominent alumni, as well as U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, who represents Ithaca and all of New York State. 

The alumni who gave words of advice to graduates include: 

  • Bill Durant ’86, sales operations analyst for Pro Unlimited and the founder of ICUNITY 
  • Robert A. Iger ’73, executive chairman and chairman of the board of the Walt Disney Company 
  • Gloria Hobbs, honorary alumna and honorary trustee, 2018 honorary Doctor of Letters recipient for her service as a scholar and educator 
  • David H. Lissy ’87, executive chairman of Bright Horizons Family Solutions; Chair of the Ithaca College Board of Trustees 
  • David Muir ’95, anchor and managing editor of ABC World News Tonight with David Muir; co-anchor of ABC’s 20/20 
  • Jan Singer ’86, chief executive officer of J. Crew 
  • Liz Tigelaar ’98, executive producer of the series “Little Fires Everywhere” 

“I just wanted to say as a proud Ithaca alum, that I’m proud of all of you, the Class of 2020,” said Muir. “This is no ordinary time, and you have risen to the occasion.” 

“Ithaca, I know, has taught you to be great critical thinkers, great self-advocates, great advocates for others and now you get to take all of that and go out into the world and pursue all your passions and all your dreams,” said Tigelaar. 

Leading up to Sunday, the college held a virtual Senior Week, providing new ways to interact on social media each day. There was even a virtual senior splash, where students posted their own alternative version of jumping into the Dillingham fountains.

Throughout the week, social media was filled with 2020 Zoom backgrounds, Class of 2020 GIFs, digital mortarboard decorations and more ways for students to show their school pride including throwback Thursday posts to highlight a photo of yourself from each year at IC.

There were other videos aimed at graduates in their transitioning role to alumni, including one featuring Ithaca alumni from various graduating years congratulating seniors and welcoming them into the fold.  

“Like so many of you, I miss being on campus, sitting on the quad during spring time and getting work done in the library into the wee hours of the night, which I did many times,” said Cornell Verdeja-Woodson '09. “Just know, that you are surrounded by a great community of alumni who are ready to welcome you into the real world after you graduate.”  

Additionally, IC launched a “20 for 20” campaign for graduating seniors, where people could submit 20 words of encouragement to the class of 2020. 

More news and information on celebrating this year’s graduating students can be found on IC’s Commencement website.

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