UGA Class of 2020 Commencement

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President Morehead,
 
I am emailing you tonight asking for a favor, not just for me but for the entire graduating class of 2020.
 
Most of us came into college terrified, we were leaving our adolescent lives as we knew them and didn’t know what to expect when we walked onto campus in August of 2016. For many students, it was our first time away from home for more than a few weeks. For others, it was the first time we walked into a room without knowing a single soul. We were in uncharted territory, we were alone, and we were scared.
 
Since then, we have formed families and communities, met our dearest friends and built relationships that will last a lifetime. The University of Georgia is our home and for many of us, our hearts are breaking because we won’t get to say goodbye to this home the way we wanted to. Today, there are over 5,000 of us who are mourning a loss– a loss of time, experiences, and opportunities that we can never get back. What we are going through will shape our futures and once again, we are terrified.
 
I know that this pandemic is unprecedented, to say the least, but today I am asking you to please try and make it a little more bearable for us seniors. We came in with fireworks and butterflies in our stomachs when we saw that admissions screen light up. We were so excited to be the next generation of Georgia Bulldogs and to carry on a tradition so worthy of envy, to attend a university so worthy of our loyalty. It would be wrong for us to go out any other way.
 
I beg you to please consider an alternative. If we cannot have our commencement ceremony on May 8th, could we potentially have it a few months later? Once the threat of COVID-19 has calmed down and the world isn’t so on-edge. Over 327,000 living alumni have sat together, with their graduating classes, to celebrate one another and see those fireworks as a symbol of their accomplishments. We want that experience too. Please, if there is any way you can help us, let us graduate the right way… The Georgia Way. Thank you.
 
 
Go Dawgs, forever!
               
 
Hanna Jon Lewis
The University of Georgia
Class of 2020