USC Kaufman hosts virtual celebration for the Class of 2020

May 18, 2020

Class of 2020 smiling in a dance studio

Class of 2020 | Photo courtesy of Adam Vesperman

On Friday, May 15, 2020, the University of Southern California hosted its first-ever online conferring of degrees. Following the ceremony, USC Kaufman hosted a virtual celebration for its graduating seniors. In addition to video messages from Dean Robert Cutietta, as well as Vice Dean and Artistic Director Jodie Gates, the Class of 2020 enjoyed slideshows and videos from USC Kaufman faculty and staff. Parents and families of the graduates shared messages along with photos of the students as young children. They also took a look back at events and performances from their four years at USC Kaufman in a video edited by Benjamin Peralta (BFA ’22) and Sidney Ramsey (BFA ’21).

The celebration concluded with an encouraging message from USC Kaufman’s visionary founder, Glorya Kaufman. “How you personally determine to go forward is not up to COVID-19, it is up to you,” Kaufman said. “Each of you is being challenged to take part in this noble tradition. Each must find the courage to apply your talents and inform, enrich and heal society through dance, and through other skills you possess.”

“I promise you. The lights will return to Broadway and artistic venues around the world where people are just waiting to see you perform,” she added. “So be courageous. Turn your fear into hope. Turn your confusion into creativity. And find a way to be your best self as a dancer, and as a human being.”

USC’s virtual conferring of degrees, along with individual schools’ online celebrations and congratulatory messages, can be viewed on demand on the Class of 2020 celebration website. You can also watch USC Kaufman’s virtual celebration below: