The commencement spirit stuffed the College of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campus with a swell of pleasure as college students got here collectively to obtain their skilled levels the week of Could 17. A number of of the faculties gave their convocations a private contact by holding small, in-person ceremonies to have fun the graduates and their accomplishments after a troublesome and unpredictable yr.
“It feels very surreal, particularly after the previous yr,” stated Dan Yang, DDS ’21, after receiving his diploma from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry (UMSOD). “I feel our dean truly stated one thing very nice on the ceremony, which was, ‘Our class might be remembered for what we achieved and never what we missed.’ That actually resonated with me as a result of this was a troublesome yr, however we made it.”
Even with out the stress and uncertainty of a world pandemic, this yr’s commencement ceremony was a very long time coming. Some college students have been dreaming of this second since childhood.
“She has needed to be a physician since she was 3 years outdated,” stated Michelle Meyer, who had simply watched her daughter, Nicole Meyer, MD ’21, obtain her MD hood in entrance of Davidge Corridor. “She made a collage when she was a toddler with footage she minimize out from magazines and stated, ‘I wish to be a physician.’ Now, right here we’re, her dream has come true.”
In lieu of a giant, indoor hooding ceremony, the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) as an alternative had their college students come out to Davidge Corridor in small teams. There, they got the ceremonial hood by considered one of their professors to congratulate them on finishing their medical faculty journey.
“I do know it isn’t the standard kind of hooding ceremony, however this yr hasn’t been a typical yr,” stated Paapa Nyanis, MD ’21, after receiving his hood. “This atypical ceremony was par for the course, and I’m simply joyful to be right here with my fellow graduates.”
The sensation was mutual for different graduates who earned their skilled levels that week. After an irregular yr of digital studying, social distancing, and sporting masks and face shields, everybody was thrilled to have the ability to have fun this main milestone collectively.
“To be trustworthy, this yr was very troublesome,” stated Want Renggli, DDS ’21, who graduated from UMSOD and might be beginning her Common Follow Residency in Lengthy Island, N.Y., within the fall. “There have been a few occasions the place I used to be anxious about whether or not or not I used to be going to complete on time, however we bought via it and I could not have finished it with out all of my good buddies. Once they say it takes a village, it actually does. As we speak, seeing everybody right here has made it actually particular.”
The celebrations didn’t finish with the person convocation ceremonies. Many graduates had plans to have fun afterward with household and buddies in a COVID-friendly location.
“It’s undoubtedly thrilling to have everybody on the town collectively. It has been a protracted street, so it’s a must to be sure to have fun,” stated James Peabody Harrington, JD ’21, who simply graduated from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and might be beginning a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Alison L. Asti within the Circuit Court docket for Anne Arundel County. “We’re going to go over to Patterson Park after this. It should be the primary time that I’ve even been in a position to see some folks shortly, so we’re all actually joyful that this might occur.”
Being surrounded by household and buddies enhanced the joy for all the graduates. For LaToya Barnes, MSW ’21, who acquired a Grasp of Social Work diploma from the University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW), it was particularly significant to be surrounded by family members when she acquired her diploma from UMSSW Dean Judy L. Postmus, PhD, ACSW.
“I have been via an entire lot this yr,” she stated. “I misplaced my mother, however due to all of the help the college supplied me, I actually was in a position to make it via. I am so joyful to be out right here celebrating in particular person with folks I like and who supported me once I wanted them most. It feels nice. I really feel very beloved, and I could not ask for higher folks to have fun with.”
Whether or not they have been receiving their MD, JD, PhD, DDS, or every other skilled diploma, everybody might really feel the electrical energy within the air because the Class of 2021 turned their tassels to the left facet of their mortarboards. After a protracted street of papers, tasks, practicums, and a pandemic, the celebration was well-deserved.