Graduating in 2020: Bittersweet
Graduating in 2020 had its challenges. The world completely changed for everyone, and especially students in the remaining months of the 2020 school year. There was a global pandemic, the economy was in a tailspin, and then there was upheaval and civil unrest. Not the most welcoming environment for a new graduate.
In times of change, there is opportunity. In Emir Moore’s (Bus ’20) case this is doubly true.
Speaking with Moore you get the sense of an enthusiastic and intelligent young man. He worked hard over his four years at The University of Toledo to earn his bachelor’s degree: a combined major of Business Management and Marketing. He is grateful for his time at the University and for the friends and connections he made.
To celebrate his graduation, he organized a Zoom meeting for family and friends. Some joining as far away as Malaysia. He organized a virtual emcee and each attendee shared words of wisdom for the graduate. Emir’s most meaningful comments came from his brothers and sisters who spoke about his growth and the impact he has had on them.
Although the Zoom call was not the end he had in mind, Emir felt that this celebration provided closure for his senior year. With friends and family not only sharing advice, but pictures and videos – it was truly a celebration.
The other COVID related opportunity for Moore was a Business Development internship for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce. Moore assisted businesses in applying for loans and assistance related to COVID-19.
Despite the chaos and new realities, Moore is proud to be an alumnus of The University of Toledo. He was grateful to be the recipient of scholarships that helped him complete his education. His gratitude is extending to the next generation of students. Moore is establishing ‘The Moore Scholarship’ to help future generations of students like himself pursue their education at UToledo.
Along with individual stories, entire classes of students had to rethink their graduation plans. Students in the College of Medicine and Life
Sciences who would normally be walking across the stage faced a different reality. In past years, the Alumni Association would provide a gift bag to graduates that includes a stethoscope, a program and other gifts.
The Alumni Association team wanted to make sure that these graduates had the opportunity to receive their gifts. They organized a drive-thru graduation pick up. Staff from the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, the associate dean of Student Affairs along with Foundation and Alumni staff had mask-to-face interactions with grads in their cars.
Graduates were appreciative of the effort and they were glad to have a special experience to commemorate their hard work. The Alumni Association staff had a great time sending grads off with style.
One thing is for sure, UToledo’s Class of 2020 will have some unique graduation stories to tell.