Class of 2021 Celebration

Graduation Accolades from Departmental Leadership

Amy C. Graves Monroe.
Amy C. Graves Monroe
Associate Professor of French
Dear Graduates,

What a year it has been. You have done your best through the worst, and you have come through shining with perseverance and wit. Surely you are, as I am, exhausted but relieved. However difficult, this year has given you an invaluable gift—you’ll never again wonder if you can prevail in the most difficult circumstances. Studying other languages and cultures sets you up to expect the unexpected. What I missed this year is the lively chatter in the Clemens hallways and that feeling I get when I stop to talk to one of you in front of the Baldy passageway but I’m swept up by the crowd changing classes. I missed the raucous laughter of class presentations and the pleasure of seeing you at our awards ceremony, collecting the signs of recognition of a job well done. I take great pride in recognizing your progress in your studies and think of all you will continue to achieve beyond UB. We will often wonder about you and what you are doing—your name will come up in the hallways, the offices, the faculty and committee meetings, the study abroad planning, the advising of future students who follow in your footsteps—so don’t forget to stay in touch. News from our alumni is like writing home. So, we send you out into the world with a book of memories and warm admiration for your hard work and talent. Show them how it’s done, class of 2021! You’re a group like no other.

Henry S. Berlin.

Henry S. Berlin    
Assistant  Professor of Spanish
Director of Undergraduate Studies

“Wayfarer, there is no way, / you make the way as you go,” is how Alan S. Trueblood translates some famous lines by the Spanish poet Antonio Machado. You are likely not graduating in the way you had imagined; your professors likely taught your final classes in a new and sometimes confounding way too. I know from my own feelings and from frequent conversations with other faculty members how proud we are of your achievements and of your determination to pursue your education throughout unexpected and sometimes devastating challenges. What Machado’s lines suggest, however, is that even if you were walking across a stage in a cap and gown, you would be walking a path no one else had ever travelled, and no one else would travel again. We make our own way in life, whether we want to or not, and we make our way together, whether we want to or not. The promise of education is that if we encourage other wayfarers to the best of our ability, as teachers and fellow students, we may achieve some measure of knowledge, understanding, and peace. We have all been encouraged by our time with you in the classroom, and we hope you will be in touch in the future as you continue to make your way!