D’Youville Commencement Will Make You Wanna Shout
Buffalo, New York – April, 2021 – D’Youville students will have a reason to “Shout!” about their commencement this year, as it will be held at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Stadium, the home of the Buffalo Bills. Commencement exercises will take place Sunday, May 16.
“Our students have endured so much over the past year, so we wanted to do something big and bold to celebrate them now that some restrictions for gatherings have been lifted,” says D’Youville President Lorrie Clemo, PhD.
“Many of our recent graduates and alumni have been on the front lines during the fight against COVID-19, especially in Western New York, and one thing that brought much-needed joy during the crisis was the Buffalo Bills’ incredible season,” Clemo says. “We are thrilled our graduates will be able to celebrate their big day at a place that is meaningful to so many in our region.”
Eighty percent of D’Youville students are working towards degrees in healthcare, and many of them took early graduation in 2020 to help with the COVID crisis. Those who graduated in May or December of 2020 and partook in virtual ceremonies due to the pandemic will be invited to join this year’s graduates at the ceremony on May 16.
“We want to offer our sincere appreciation to Pegula Sports & Entertainment (PSE) and the entire Buffalo Bills organization,” Clemo says. “I believe our students’ personal, heartfelt testimonies about their experiences during the pandemic helped persuade PSE to allow us this tremendous opportunity.” (See video: https://youtu.be/LagsOSrwqmc)
“The Buffalo Bills are proud to welcome D’Youville graduates to Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Stadium,” says PSE Executive Vice President Ron Raccuia. “D’Youville has positively impacted the West Side of Buffalo and our entire Western New York community for over 100 years, including being the first area school to offer baccalaureate degree programs for women. We look forward to celebrating the achievements of their outstanding students at the home of the Buffalo Bills.”
In addition, Clemo notes that Kim Pegula, PSE President and CEO, was named by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to the New York Forward Reopening Advisory Board, which guides the state’s reopening strategies.
“We will strictly follow Department of Health guidelines for large gatherings for our commencement exercises,” says Nathan Marton, vice president of operations at D’Youville. “We also will follow the current protocol of 20 percent capacity at the stadium and, like attendance at Buffalo Sabres games, will require face masks and either proof of immunization or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event.”
The commencement keynote speaker will be Shari McDonough, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Buffalo. McDonough received a degree in business from D’Youville in 2016. During the pandemic, D’Youville partnered with the Boys & Girls Club and healthcare students provided temperature checks so the clubs could remain open and serve families.
“We are inviting a number of children served by the Boys & Girls Club to commencement, both to honor Shari and to share this exciting experience with them,” Clemo says.
More details about D’Youville’s commencement exercises will be released in the coming weeks.
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