Class of 2020 Celebration

A Letter to Our Graduates

Dear Class of 2020,

Congratulations to our graduating students and to the family and friends who have helped them reach this auspicious day.  This is a graduation unlike anything any of us expected several months ago.  None-the-less it is still your day to celebrate, even if the hugs and high-fives are all virtual.

This is also an exciting day for us, as you are the first group of students graduating under the banner of the Department of Environment and Sustainability.  Bringing you all together under a single roof has been exciting for us and we hope for you as well.  

A decade from now some of you will be in careers exactly as you planned, but many of you will be far from where you started and far from the title of your degree.  That is true for graduates from every department, but what is special about our majors is that regardless of your future career, you are leaving UB having focused your education on the knowledge and skills to be stewards of a world that needs all of the help it can get.  That stewardship can be the choices you make on ballots, advocacy you engage in or it may be career focused on the environment.  They are all critical to our future and we are proud of your accomplishments up to now and look forward to your future accomplishments.  

We had been planning to have a graduation picnic for you.  Like so many other events it has to be put off, but we will try again next year.  If you are in Buffalo or can get back in May 2021 you are invited to what I hope will be a Class of 2020 and 2021 graduation picnic.

Until then, congratulations, our best wishes, good luck in your endeavors, and of course, stay safe.


Howard Lasker, Department Chair

Nick Henshue, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Mary Bisson, Director of Graduate Studies

College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Ceremonies

Friday, May 14
1:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 16
Arts, Natural Sciences, Math and Interdisciplinary Programs: 9:30 a.m.
Humanities and Social Sciences: 3:00 p.m.

Ceremony Details

Share in the celebration!

Post on social media using #UBclassof2021

A Video Message from the Director of Undergraduate Studies

Student Awards

Congratulations to the following students on their academic achievements!

2020 Outstanding Senior

Stephen DeJoy.
Stephen DeJoy

BS in Environmental Studies

UB Outstanding Research, Scholarship and Creativity Project Award

Britney Bay-Croyle.
Britney Bay-Croyle

MA in Sustainability Leadership

Madelyn Radel.
Madelyn Radel

BS in Environmental Studies; BA in Anthropology

Messages From Our Faculty

Mary Bisson.
Mary Bisson

"Special congratulations to our EEB graduate students finishing their degrees during this difficult year.  Good job!!"

Susan Clark.
Susan Clark

"Class of 2020, you persisted through some unprecedented challenges this semester, and yet still accomplished so much. Changing the world for the better won’t be easy either, but the most worthwhile things in life never are. Use this experience as a learning opportunity to adapt and overcome future challenges you face in your life. Always remember, there is no limit to what you can achieve! Congratulations and best wishes going forward."

Sandy Geffner.
Sandy Geffner

"Congratulations! You’ve done it. You are now ready to embark on the next stage of your life. I wish for you many great lessons and exciting adventures. Be good-hearted and strong and make a healthy difference in the world. And, please remember, whatever career path you choose, carry a little bit of the “naturalist” within you….the Earth will always be grateful."

Nick Henshue.
Nick Henshue

"Earth’s wicked problems need technology, they need understanding, they need teamwork, kindness, and communication, across time and space. This is what we have learned from the virus. While COVID’s legacy will be disastrous, remember that it also brought practitioners of patience and understanding. You have needed to slow down and assess what is really important. What I see, and am incredibly proud of, is a graduating class of 2020 that has been tried and tested, and that wields a skill set unlike any class before it."

Adam Rome.
Adam Rome

"We’re inspired by your passion, smarts, and commitment, and we’re eager to see what you do out in the world!  Congrats, graduates!"

Craig Thomas.
Craig Thomas

​"Dear Class of 2020, I immensely enjoyed working with such an intelligent, conscientious and earnest group of people! These last two years at UB have been the most interesting and rewarding time of my career, and it is sincerely due to nobody but you. I hope that your time here helps pave the way for happiness and success for you and your loved ones. Remember: Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid!"

Marie Weide.
D. Marie Weide

"Class of 2020, I am so proud of you! I am so happy to have gotten to know many of you over the past year and a half. Best of luck as you enter the next phase of your lives. Always your teacher, Marie Weide"

Adam Wilson.
Adam Wilson

"Congratulations!  Now more than ever we need people like you who understand the complexities of our global socio-ecological system.  I know it is a difficult time, but with great upheaval comes great opportunity.  I hope you can hold your head high knowing that you have the foundation you need to move forward and build a more sustainable future."

College of Arts and Sciences Virtual Commencement Ceremony

Friday, May 15 1 p.m. 

This virtual ceremony is for graduate students from all departments within the College of Arts and Sciences.

Saturday, May 16 3 p.m.

This virtual ceremony is for undergraduate students from all departments within the College of Arts and Sciences.