More than 450 Skyhawks were celebrated in a virtual ceremony on May 29, after an unusual final semester but successful bachelor's or master's education at Fort Lewis College. The ceremony premiered online, featuring videos of graduates passing their tassels as their names were read by faculty from their departments. From every department, students were lauded for their resilience and courage, many faculty expressing how proud they were of their students' accomplishments. Graduates received Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Arts in Education degrees, as well as certificates in Pre-Health, Geographic Information System, and Digital Marketing.
Speakers included President Tom Stritikus, Provost Cheryl Nixon, Student Body President Cody Stroup, and Erik Weihenmayer, adventurer and author.
“I’ve been to some summits in my life and I know the feeling you all have right now. You come down and now you’re looking up at that next mountain, an even taller mountain and you feel a little bit of fear," Weihenmayer said. "All the challenges you face have energy, there may not be a way to overcome them, but you can take that energy and harness it and use it to propel yourselves forward to places we never would have been before. Constantly be taking challenges and turning them into possibilities, change fear into action, take uncertainty and turn it into adventure. Keep climbing, Skyhawks."
Excerpts from the Ceremony
"You have made it. You have made it across the most difficult finish line any of us could have imagined. You should feel proud and strong right now."
Provost Cheryl Nixon
"I want you all to remember this moment and think about where you are now and all of the progress and growth that has gotten you to where we are now. We are better prepared than ever and we will continue to influence the world as it continues to change."
Cody Stroup, student body president
"Today I find myself thinking of what you will do for society. The skills you learned here – critical thinking, the ability to communicate, and the ability to interrogate inequality – these are the skills our society desperately needs right now."
President Tom Stritikus