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Words of Encouragement Send Ferris Class of 2020 Graduates Forward into the Future


In a commencement format familiar from the spring but unique from tradition, Class of 2020 graduates heard words of inspiration in celebration of their achievement as Ferris State University’s newest graduates.

Ferris awarded approximately 1,200 academic degrees to 1,000 students, including the 800 who elected to take part during the pre-recorded virtual ceremonies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the individuals to address the fall Class of 2020 members were President David Eisler, Board of Trustees Chair Amna Seibold and the ceremonies’ featured speaker, Lori Faulkner, recipient of Ferris’ 2020 Distinguished Teacher Award.

“It is a true honor to stand before you, the Class of 2020. During this time of national challenge, it is important to pause and honor you. I am pleased you’ve joined us today to celebrate and reflect on your accomplishments at Ferris State University,” Eisler said. “As graduates, you represent the collective hopes and dreams of our institution. In your educational journey, you have overcome obstacles and challenges experiencing the highs and lows that are a part of earning your college degree.”

On behalf of her fellow trustees, Seibold saluted the Class of 2020 and encouraged graduates to focus on past positives and the promise of a bright future as Ferris degree holders.

“I’m sure at some point you all wished that your final year at Ferris could have been just like it used to be,” she said. “Social interactions and learning experiences seem to have changed almost overnight. However, I am going to challenge all of you to look at things through a different lens and try to find the positives amid the disappointments. First, let us acknowledge that our world is always changing. One of the many goals of a Ferris State University education is to give you the tools needed to help you successfully adapt to change as you move forward in your life and your career.”

Faulkner, an associate professor and Fashion Studies program director at Ferris’ Kendall College of Art and Design, stressed perseverance and confidence in her message to the newest alumni.

“Celebrate where you are, what you have accomplished, how you have persevered and survived through this year of challenges, and confidently walk forward into your future, ready to thrive,” Faulkner said during her address.

Graduating with a college degree is a significant accomplishment, Eisler noted. He further reminded graduates of some reasons that paved their path to this point.

“Through your hard work, sacrifice and dedication you, have made it to this significant milestone where one journey ends and another begins,” Eisler said.