Class of 2021 Response to Graduation Update


Courtesy of Villanova University

Class of 2021 Response to Graduation Update

Olivia Sabalaskey, Staff Writer

College graduation is a momentous occasion. It is the culmination of years of hard work on behalf of the graduate, as well as the parents of the graduate. 

For four years, Villanova has been the Class of 2021’s home. Many have met their best friends and significant others on this beautiful campus. Although graduating from Villanova is bittersweet, it is also exciting. Not only is it a celebration of the academic and personal achievements attained by the seniors, but also of the many memories shared between friends that have become family.

Members of the Class of 2021 will undoubtedly miss the home they have found here at Villanova, but they look forward to the bright futures ahead of them as they enter the workforce, continue their education in graduate school or pursue other interests.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has halted many aspects of a normal college graduation, seniors were excited to receive word on March 25 from University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D. that they are allowed to invite two guests to attend select events during Commencement Weekend this May. 

Peter Rouse, a senior Finance major, is thrilled by the news.

“I am extremely excited that my parents can now be physically present to see me walk across the stage at graduation,” Rouse said. “I owe my success to their continued love and support. They deserve to be able to celebrate by my side.”

Tim Rouse, Peter’s father, shared his son’s excitement.

“Our children’s lives speed by so quickly,” Tim said. “Not being able to participate in an important moment like college graduation would be sad. So, getting the news that we can attend is wonderful.”

Cassie Renz, a senior Nursing major, is ecstatic about her parents being able to attend her graduation.

“I’m really happy that two guests are now allowed to come,” Renz said. “My parents have always been my number one supporters. Having them actually see me graduate is going to make Commencement even more meaningful.”

Taylor Campbell, a senior Communication major and Business minor, is relieved and excited that her parents will be able to attend her graduation.

“When we got the original announcement that no guests would be allowed at our commencement, students and parents were all disappointed,” Campbell said. “I think Villanova sensed this and really listened to what we had to say by allowing us to now have two guests attend. We all worked way too hard to not have our loved ones with us to celebrate this big moment, and I’m happy that Villanova recognized this.”

Emily Cooner, a senior Marketing and Business Analytics co-major, also shared her excitement about the graduation update.

“I was thrilled to hear that Villanova would allow two guests at graduation,” Cooner said. “College graduation is one of the biggest events in our lives thus far, so it means a lot to be able to have our parents attend the ceremony. I’m grateful that Villanova extended the invitation to two guests, and I’m looking forward to celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2021 in May.”

Kate Canavan, a senior Finance, International Business and Business Analytics major and Spanish minor, is excited that her parents will be able to attend select events during Commencement Weekend.

“I am very excited about the recent update,” Canavan said. “My parents have supported me throughout my college experience and they are looking forward to attending the graduation ceremony in person.”

Lexi Norcross, a senior Computer Science major and Psychology minor, is thrilled that the Class of 2021 will be able to invite two guests.

“My friends and I were very excited when we heard the news,” Norcross said. “To have a Commencement without any guests would have felt pretty empty. More importantly, I imagine that the selected guests will be so appreciative of the opportunity to celebrate someone that they have supported over the past four years.” 

In his email, Donohue expressed that Villanova understands that many students and families will choose to attend events during Commencement Weekend remotely. Therefore, Villanova is committed to providing a virtual option for graduates and their families. 

As the Class of 2021 and their loved ones look forward to a celebratory graduation in May, Donohue noted the importance of following Villanova’s CARITAS Commitment and CDC guidelines, which includes wearing a mask and practicing social distancing. More updates and information will be communicated via email and on the Commencement website in the coming weeks.