IUPUI Virtual Commencement

Graduates of Today Are the Heroes of Tomorrow

May 2020
Indianapolis, Indiana


IUPUI Class of 2020.

I never in a million years would have imagined giving a commencement address from my living room, but here I am.

Here we are, all making the best of a very difficult situation.

The way Jaguars face crisis—with strength, determination, and creativity—makes me incredibly proud.

I am especially proud that so many Jaguars—IUPUI graduates from years past—are heroes of today, part of the vast medical brigade making a difference and saving lives.

Many in this Class of 2020—our nurses, our doctors, our health professionals—are joining these heroes of today in the essential work battling COVID-19, and that strengthens my belief in the spirit of this campus. This is what Jaguars do, even when the world does not meet our expectations ... maybe especially when the world doesn’t meet our expectations.

Expectations and Accomplishments

Instead of all that we expected—meeting in Lecture Hall for final exams, gathering for celebrations, taking over Lucas Oil Stadium for our commencement ceremony—many of us are sitting at home right now with our dogs or our kids or our parents.

Some of us might even be in our pajamas.

As different as this year is and as much as it has tested each one of us, it has not dimmed the achievements of this Class of 2020.

You have dedicated years to conducting research, developing hypotheses, poring over theories, and mastering the material you have faced.

You have lounged in the Campus Center, lit up the night during Weeks of Welcome, and owned the gerbil tubes of IUPUI.

You have been tested, and each one of you has passed, stronger, smarter, and ready for whatever comes next.

Each of you—in different ways—will be working to make this world a better, safer, healthier place even as you sacrifice for the greater good.

IUPUI Chancellor Nasser H. Paydar

Joining the Heroes of Today

As I said earlier, for some what comes next is the life-saving work in the fight against COVID-19, despite the risk.

Regardless of what you studied, graduates, you are joining these heroes. Each one of you brings your own expertise, in literacy and the law, research and analysis, engineering and politics, and many other areas.

Each of you—in different ways—will be working to make this world a better, safer, healthier place even as you sacrifice for the greater good.

Class of 2020: Remember This

IUPUI Class of 2020, if you only remember one thing about your graduation, let it be this:

You have gone through what none in a century have experienced.

Like diamonds formed under pressure, like steel tempered in fire, you are beautiful and strong.

You are ready for anything, including, most of all, the brighter days that are sure to come.

Congratulations, IUPUI Class of 2020!

Want to see more of the virtual commencement celebration?