[MUSIC PLAYING] POPPY MCLEOD: I am honored to welcome you to the virtual presentation of the 18th annual and very special recognition ceremony for the December graduates of the class of 2021 at Cornell University. I am Professor Poppy McLeod, University Marshal for all commencement events. At this time, it is my pleasure to introduce you to the provost of Cornell University, Michael Kotlikoff.
MICHAEL KOTLIKOFF: Students, colleagues, families, and friends, welcome to this virtual, but nevertheless, joyful and well-deserved celebration of your accomplishments. Speaking on behalf of the faculty of Cornell, I am proud to join with all of you in honoring our midyear graduates. Degree candidates, whether you are now completing your bachelor's, master's, or PhD, we congratulate you on your achievements and particularly, on your perseverance through the challenges this year has brought. It is our hope that your time at Cornell has not only increased your knowledge and skills, but helped you refine your goals and better understand yourself and your aspirations.
We hope that you leave here empowered to think critically and to act constructively, and we wish for all of you the deep satisfactions of a life filled with intellectual exploration and adventure. I speak for all of Cornell's faculty in offering warm congratulations and best wishes for your future endeavors. Please join me in welcoming President Martha E. Pollack.
MARTHA POLLACK: Good morning, and congratulations to our December, 2020 graduates. In an ordinary year, you'd all be here with us over in Barton Hall, but as nobody needs reminding, this is not an ordinary year. I'm not sure if you can hear how much it's echoing here in Bailey Hall, but right now, we're six people in a space designed for 1,300-- the three of us up here and three more out in the audience doing the camera and sound.
And all of you, instead of sitting in rows of chairs in your caps and gowns with your family and friends and bleachers behind you, all of you are in your homes all over the world. In an ordinary year, I'd start out by asking all of our graduates to stand up, face the stands where your favorite people are sitting, and shout out a thank you for everything they've done to help you come to this point in your lives. This year, I can't do that. But what I can do is ask all of you, wherever you are and however you can, to give those thanks, to hug your family and friends if you're with them, and if they're not, once this virtual commencement is over, to pull out your phone, send them a note, and let them know how much their support has meant to you.
A virtual graduation is, without question, a strange way to end your time as Cornell students. But as we've all learned this year, you don't have to be on the Cornell campus to be a Cornelian. And we don't all have to be physically in the same place to be a community.
Even though none of us would have chosen for you to spend this last year the way you did, 2020 and everything that happened in it is now almost behind us, and it is forever a part of the experiences that shaped you here at Cornell. And there is one way in which this class is exactly like every other class that ever graduated in Barton in December or in Schoellkopf May, which is that even though you're Cornell education began in Ithaca, it will not end here. Being a Cornelian means being a part of a community created not just for any person in any study, but for the goal of creating and sharing knowledge for a public purpose. And that process of creating and sharing knowledge of being curious about the world in the way it works and the way it might work better, that is not a process that ended when you turned in your last assignment and took your last test.
This past year, and in particular, this pandemic have shown a spotlight on how essential education, and research, and engagement with the world truly are by highlighting for everyone how a healthy functioning society relies on the values of knowledge and truth and the ability to communicate across difference on a commitment to diversity, equity, and excellence, and especially on education and research, in particular, the kind of exceptional education and research that are the hallmarks of Cornell. The pandemic has also reminded us that our lives, and society, and really, our whole world depend on a huge range of expertise, whether it's in public health and vaccine development, or supply chains, or labor policy, or communication, or teaching innovation, or technology.
And of course, we also need the art, the music, and the literature that are helping all of us survive and make sense of the strange times in which we are living. One might say that the world needs any person in any study. One might even say that the world needs all of you.
In these strange final months of what I hope have been wonderful years here in Ithaca, I hope that all of you have learned one final important lesson about what it takes to bring to life Cornell's mission of knowledge for a public purpose. All of the knowledge, all of the data, all of the science and planning that it took to reopen this campus successfully and to bring students back to Cornell-- all of that was necessary. But on its own, it never would have been enough.
In the end, our success this semester depended not on what we collectively knew, but on what we collectively did with that knowledge, on the decisions that every member of this community made every single day to put the health and safety of our community first. Together, you showed the world what can be achieved when we value not just knowledge, but also value each other, when we make our decisions with both our minds and our hearts, and when we treat each other with kindness and humanity. I am so very proud of each and every one of you.
It is now my privilege to recognize the candidates recommended by the deans and faculties of the schools and colleges for all the appropriate PhD, master, and bachelor's degrees in all disciplines and majors.
SPEAKER: Thank you, President Pollack and Provost Kotlikoff. We will now display the list of degree candidates organized by college and degree, along with well wishes from each dean. This is not an official list, as it was compiled prior to the posting of final grades.
Wherever you are in the world today, we hope you and your family and friends are enjoying celebrating this milestone in your life. Congratulations, graduates.
KATHRYN BOOR: Hello. I'm Kathryn Boor, dean of the Graduate School. Congratulations to all of our December graduates, and particularly to our PhD and master's candidates.
EDUARDO PENALVER: Hi I'm Eduardo Peñalver, the Allan R. Tessler dean of Cornell Law School. Congratulations to all of our December, 2020 graduates.
KEVIN HALLOCK: Hello. I'm Kevin Hallock, dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business. Congratulations to the December graduates of our three schools-- The Johnson Graduate School of Management, the School of Hotel Administration, and the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management.
MARK NELSON: I'm Mark Nelson, the Anne and Elmer Lindseth dean of the Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management. Graduates, congratulations.
KATE WALSH: Hello. I'm Kate Walsh, dean of the School of Hotel Administration. Congratulations to all of our December graduates.
ED MCLAUGHLIN: Hello. I'm Ed McLaughlin, dean of the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. Congratulations to all our December graduates.
BENJAMIN HOULTON: Hello. I'm Benjamin Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Congratulations to our December graduates.
MEEJIN YOON: Hello. I'm Meejin Yoon, dean of the College of Architecture, Art, and Planning. Congratulations to all our December graduates.
Hello. I'm Ray Jayawardhana, the Harold Tanner Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Warmest congratulations to all of our December graduates.
LYNDEN ARCHER: Hello. I'm Lynden Archer, the Joseph Silbert dean in the College of Engineering. Congratulations to all our December graduates.
RACHEL DUNIFON: I'm Rachel Dunifon, the Rebecca Q. and James C. Morgan dean of the College of Human Ecology. Congratulations to all of our December graduates.
ALEXANDER COLVIN: Hello. I'm Alex Colvin, the Kenneth Kahn dean of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. A hearty congratulations to our December graduates.
MARTHA POLLACK: When we can travel again, please come back and visit. And know that Cornell will always be a part of you, just as you will always be a part of Cornell. Congratulations.
[MUSIC - "FAR ABOVE CAYUGA'S WATERS"]
(SINGING) Far above Cayuga's waters, with its waves of blue stands our noble Alma Mater, glorious to view. Lift the chorus, speed it onward, loud her praises tell. Hail to thee, our Alma Mater. Hail, all hail, Cornell.
Far above the busy humming of the bustling town, reared against the arch of heaven, looks she proudly down.
Lift the chorus, speed it onward, loud her praises tell. Hail to thee, our Alma Mater. Hail, all hail, Cornell.
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Congratulations December 2020 graduates! Cornell is recognizing undergraduates and graduate students who meet the requirements for December graduation in a congratulatory video featuring remarks by Provost Michael Kotlikoff and President Martha Pollack, as well as brief comments from each dean whose college or school has December graduates.