The class of 2020 is the first cohort of Global Commerce majors to have had the option to take Global Commerce courses as first-year students. Along with the class of 2019, this year’s class of GC graduates have helped to shape our innovative major into what it is today.

Although we couldn’t celebrate their success in person, on Thursday, May 14, faculty, staff, and students joined together for a virtual Senior Send-off hosted by Jane Palmer, Assistant Director, and Monica Graffeo, Administrative Assistant. Seniors joined us from their homes—and one from her car on the way home from a family grocery trip—to catch up with each other, share some Global Commerce memories, and celebrate their upcoming graduation. And faculty members Mariana Saavedra Espinosa, Jessica Burch, Julie Mujic, Jessica Bean, John McHugh, and Regina Martin all joined in the send-off.

As faculty took turns reading the names of all of our 2020 class, Jane and Monica released a balloon to celebrate sending off each student to continue their paths beyond Denison. (The balloons all collected on Monica’s ceiling—no environmental damage caused!) All of our faculty and staff offered words of congratulations, advice, and encouragement, recognizing that these graduates are finishing their college education at a time of particularly glaring uncertainty.

Director Karen Spierling ended the ceremony by reassuring the Class of 2020:

You are prepared. You have succeeded in a major that was being built around you and changing from one semester to the next. You have learned how to think deeply and develop expertise in certain areas. You have also learned how to jump into projects, figure them out, and create effective solutions, even if you initially feel unprepared.

Life is always more uncertain than we’d like to think. The uncertainty is harder to ignore right now, but it is not actually something completely new.

So remember: You are capable. You are adaptable. Even when things feel overwhelming, I am confident that you will find a way to persist until you succeed. We need you all out there doing good things.

You’ve got this. Congratulations to the GC Class of 2020!

May 15, 2020