Villa Maria College announced it will hold a face-to-face commencement ceremony in celebration of the Class of 2021 and the Class of 2020. The ceremony, which will be held outside in front the Main Building, will take place beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 22.
“We look forward to honoring the graduates from the past two years,” said DJ Schier, Villa Maria’s director of student affairs. “Commencement is always a special time to celebrate the hard work of our students. This year’s class and last year’s class especially deserve this recognition after persevering and completing their coursework in the midst of a global pandemic.”
A press release stated, “As always, the safety of the college community remains the top priority. Due to current restrictions imposed by New York state and Erie County, only student participants and college faculty and staff will be able to attend the in-person ceremony. Physical distancing and facial coverings will be required, and all other state and local guidelines will be followed. If guidance on event capacity changes soon, the college will reevaluate plans to allow guests.”
In order to allow the families and friends of graduates to view the ceremony and celebrate along the graduates, it will be livestreamed on the college’s YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/c/VillaMariaCollegeBuffalo.
In keeping with one of the college’s longstanding commencement traditions, three awards will be given out during the ceremony. The Founder’s Award, which is presented annually to a person or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to society and Villa Maria College, will be accepted by David Zapfel on behalf of Gerard Place. Gerard Place provides housing and supportive programs for homeless, single-parent families and strengthens the community by empowering individuals and families toward self-sufficiency via community education and outreach.
Zapfel, who serves as the president and CEO of Gerard Place, will address the Classes of 2021 and 2020 after accepting the award. Student award winners will be named at a later date.
For more information, visit Villa.edu/commencement.