SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY AT NEW ORLEANS, NEW ORLEANS– This is the joyous time of the year when students who have worked hard, find that they have matriculated to a graduation in front of their friends and family. This year the graduations are displaced because of the COVID-19 pandemic… at least in the general sense. However, there are still graduations; this year they are virtual.
One of the graduating students at SUNO is Jenna Morris, a psychology student who is summa cum laude of her class. Morris reflects on a semester well done and a semester of obstacles saying, “right smack dab in the middle of the process, here comes COVID 19. We had to adjust. The transition to the online changed everything.”
As universities from across the country graduate, each student is baptized into the coronavirus era student experience that is apart from the experience of classes that came before them. There are about a hundred of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States. SUNO is one of them. This past Saturday, many of the HBCU’s and held virtual graduation. After the graduation there was a star-studded virtual graduation celebrated all the HBCU’s complete with advice from former president Barrack Obama as well as musical performance, comedy and poetry. “You’re going to have to grow up faster than some generations. So if the world is going to get better, it’s going to be up to you,” says former president Barack Obama.
Jenna sums has a bright and beautiful career ahead of her saying, “my children, fiancé, parents and grandparents are already screaming about the next chapter in my life when I go to grad school. This special time is our experience; no one else is going to be able to relate to this experience but the class of 2020.”