As members of the Presbyterian College Class of 2021 readied to receive their degrees Saturday morning on PC’s West Plaza, Provost Donald Raber II led into the long-awaited event.
“It’s showtime,” he said.
The 138th commencement at PC followed an academic year marred by COVID-19 and heavy with protocols put in place to keep students, faculty and staff at the college safe.
The graduates and a limited number of family members were still socially distanced, placed three feet apart on the West Plaza lawn. The event was also livestreamed on the internet and streamed on PC’s YouTube channel.
“On this most joyous of occasions, I don’t want to dwell on the dark days of this past year. Rather, I want to leave you with some things to ponder,” said Dr. Roy Campbell, a PC history professor and the school’s 2021 Professor of the Year as he spoke to graduates.
“My hope for all of you is that with your PC education, with your sharp intellects, with your logic and reason, and most of all with your compassion, you can … be the change you wish to see in the world… You can be the uniters and healers that our country and world so desperately need.”
It was the initial PC commencement under the watch of first-year President Matthew vandenBerg.
“Savor this moment. You have earned it, and you will remember it forever,” vandenBerg told the graduates, praising them for persisting and working through the pandemic under unprecedented circumstance. “When you got knocked down, you kept getting back up.”
Campbell continued to look forward for the Class of 2021.
“More than ever, this country, this world, needs difference makers,” he said. “It needs PC graduates, and it truly needs all of you.”