Class of 2020 Commencement
By Chilekasi Adele
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – SU’s 2020 class returned to campus for an in-person commencement ceremony Sunday — more than a year after initially scheduled.
Signs of the same pandemic that initially delayed the ceremony were evident, with masking prompts displayed on scoreboards and faces covered everywhere.
There were some notable names — including New York Governor and Syracuse University grad Kathy Hochul — who served as commencement speaker.
Kevin Richardson became the first person to receive an honorary undergraduate degree in the university’s history. He and four others were exonerated after being wrongfully convicted of brutalizing a Central Park jogger in 1990 — a case that garnered national attention.
“His story is — a mirror reflection of a lot of other people’s story that come from spaces that minorities hold,” said class of 2020 graduate Alisia Larne.
Serena Omo-Lamai’s story took her from Lagos, Nigeria to Class Marshal. She also served as Student Commencement Speaker for the ceremony.
“It’s such an honor — and I’m so grateful to everyone who made this possible — my family, my family friends,” said Omo-Lamai.
“Naija no dey carry last — and so we try, we work very hard to get where we must — and so, it means a lot,” Geoffrey Kwale, Omo-Lamai’s uncle said, praising his niece.
For many, Sunday’s events served as more than just a program.
“I think there’s finally closure that so many parents — and the graduates, needed,” said Peter Anastasiou, brother of a 2020 SU Graduate.