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Congratulations distinguished graduates!

Here at BAU, honoring accomplishments is something we all look forward to! All members of the BAU community get thrilled around this time of the year, because it’s the season of Commencements, and at BAU, our Commencement Ceremony is the most important event of the year! It’s the day we celebrate our hard-working students, our dedicated and honorable faculty, and the ever-supportive parents that have stood by our students throughout every step.

Unfortunately, the pandemic-related circumstances made it impossible for us to hold our Commencement Ceremony this year. However, at least we managed to have our special photograph shootings with our graduating students, one by one, with their caps and gowns on. We look forward to seeing all of you walking to the stage and throwing your caps in the air to congratulate your own achievements next year, together with the Class of 2021.

Graduation is a very personal achievement. It is the recognition of individual commitment and effort. But it is also about others – family who supported you, friends who knew when you needed them, a favorite faculty member who inspired and encouraged you. Your graduation is even more meaningful in this respect, as we all have been going through a global pandemic that has affected many people’s lives. This contagion has spread all around the world. It caused many people to lose their relatives and friends, and many others to lose their jobs.  In far too many ways, you have seen how fragile our world can be. Accomplishing your academic work during this harsh time is especially worth celebrating.

However, the year 2020 will not only be remembered for the global pandemic and the difficulties that came with it. This year will also be remembered for the spontaneous, social uproar against racism. During this time, the right to protest and speak freely has never been more important. We support the right of an aggrieved and often unheard community to speak out. We know that in many parts of the world, there are issues like hatred, intolerance, racism, separation, and such which are even more dangerous than the pandemic. The world will recover from the pandemic one day, hopefully very soon. However, such deep-rooted social issues need a strong dedication, commitment, sincerity, and collaboration involving the majority of the societies affected, and more time to heal the wounds.

At this point, I would like to remind you of BAU values once again: treating one another with respect; striving for high academic achievements; expressing diverse ideas and reflecting diverse backgrounds; and approaching personal and academic lives with integrity. You have embraced these values during your studies at BAU; and from now on your involvement in your society should make a difference. As responsible graduates of BAU, you should create goodness around you with your values, ideas, and hard work. As the President of BAU, I would like to see each and every BAU graduate to hold on to these values and work to build a better, more just world.

To You, Class of 2020: This is not a farewell, this is not an end. This is a commencement for your new life. Each one of you will be remembered. Each one of you has left a mark with us. And we all appreciate it.

Sinem VATANARTIRAN, Ph.D.

President

Bay Atlantic University

June 15, 2020

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