Before graduates put their education to work, they deserve recognition now more than ever

(BPT) - Graduation is a momentous occasion — a chance to think back on graduates’ journeys, to celebrate accomplishments, and of course, to look ahead. When we consider how difficult the last few years have been, we recognize the extraordinary resilience and perseverance this year’s graduates have shown in accomplishing this important educational goal. Because of this, DeVry University felt this year’s graduating class deserved a spectacular in-person Commencement Weekend celebrating their educational success, recognizing their incredible dedication and fanning their passion for the opportunities that lie ahead.

DeVry’s commencement keynote speaker, 29-time Paralympic medalist and World Champion swimmer Jessica Long, exemplifies this dedication, resilience and perseverance. Her story resonates with today’s graduates, as they embody the same kind of determination and drive that led them to this marquee moment and will lead them through what comes next.

DeVry President and CEO Tom Monahan has similar lessons for today’s graduates entering the workforce:

  • Setbacks create superpowers: This class has faced nearly unprecedented adversity due to a global pandemic and a gyrating economy. Surprisingly, this is a good thing. That they have faced major obstacles and massive change and found ways to adapt and persevere will prepare them uniquely well for the realities of long — not always linear — career journeys.
  • Individual success is a team sport: There’s an unfortunate reality in American higher education: many attempt to get a degree, not all succeed. Those who do invariably find ways to draw on a support network — inside and outside the classroom – to reach their goals. The same is true for careers – this ability to draw upon professional and personal support networks will be a lifelong asset.
  • Leverage your experience in new ways of work: We believe “nontraditional” education pathways, where students balance work, school and life, have better prepared them for the modern workplace than “traditional” paths. These graduates already know how to navigate and thrive in an environment where workforces are diverse, distributed, digitally enabled and data driven.

“Reaching an educational goal of this magnitude always requires effort, but in the midst of a pandemic and economic shifts, this year’s graduating class has shown resilience and perseverance almost sure to be unmatched in DeVry’s — or higher education’s — history,” said Monahan. “At DeVry, our goal is to educate for real-world impact. I wholeheartedly believe this education has uniquely prepared learners for the modern workforce. Congratulations class of 2022!”

To further prime learners for what’s next after graduation, DeVry’s Commencement Weekend included engagements such as networking, career preparation workshops, and a guest speaker series which included an alumni and business partner panel discussion and words from guest speaker and Success on Your Own Terms author, James B. Rosseau, Sr.

Commencement Weekend also acknowledged exceptional DeVry alumni at a Graduate and Alumni Reception hosted by the Alumni Association with two Lifetime Achievement awards and four Alumni Legacy Awards presented. These honors reinforce how educational institutions like DeVry can pay tribute to graduates’ success long after as they navigate a constantly shifting economic and business climate.

As the pandemic accelerated the digital nature of business and the economy, education is now reflecting this shift — at least at DeVry, with a goal to educate our learners for real world impact. As graduates enter a new kind of workforce that’s becoming more diverse, distributed, digital and data-driven, they are now uniquely prepared to thrive and lead in the world of today and tomorrow. More than ever, businesses should feel confident as learners put their assets to work and make an impact.