President Marcy Commends Class of 2021 For Its Resiliency

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In her final commencement address as President of Dominican University of California, Mary B. Marcy praised this year’s graduates for their perseverance in wake of a worldwide pandemic.

“Think about what you have done in this last year and a half. I am so incredibly proud of you,” President Marcy said before congratulating and conferring degrees on 311 undergraduate and 202 graduate students from the Class of 2021.  The virtual ceremony was celebrated May 15.

“I know that we are celebrating the culmination of your journey as you graduate from Dominican today. We’re also starting you on that new quest and I want you to remember that you cannot always see a clear path before you and we know from the last year and a half that there can be some not pleasant surprises. But always remember you are a resilient, focused, compassionate class. You are Dominican graduates. You have modeled our values of study, reflection, community, and service and carried them forward into the face of something that literally changed the world. You are now called to embark on that quest.”

Vanessa Groppetti ‘21, a nursing and psychology double major, delivered the baccalaureate speech to Class of 2021 undergraduates and Occupational Therapy master’s student Benji Harrington ’21 gave the graduates address.

After leading Dominican through nearly a decade of transformation and success, President Marcy last September announced her decision to step down at the conclusion of the 2020-2021 fiscal year. She will continue her work focused on the future of higher education through an appointment as Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and she will also continue her relationship with Dominican through ongoing availability as she assumes the title of President Emerita.

Dominican's Commencement Committee collaborated with faculty, staff, and students to design a vibrant virtual program that reflects the University’s traditions and, most importantly, offers personalized recognition for each graduating student. While the formal commencement ceremony took place virtually, Dominican offered a number of in-person experiences that have been possible in the context of the pandemic environment. In March, the campus bookstore offered a hybrid grad fair and outdoor appointments with a professional photographer; the campus was opened up to households wishing to take their own photos with graduates; and Dominican saw more than 200 graduates at its festive drive-through send-off celebration on May 5.

The following students and teachers receiving University awards were announced during the May 15 virtual commencement video.

Undergraduate Awards

  • Outstanding Undergraduate Student: Tamera McNeil, Bachelor of Science, Health Sciences/Occupational Therapy.
  • Veritas Cup: Marissa Vang, Bachelor of Arts, Accounting and Management.

Graduate Awards

Faculty of the Year

  • Full-Time Faculty: Kristin Jones, assistant professor, Department of Occupational Therapy
  • Part-Time Faculty: Ernesto Diaz, adjunct professor, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

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