Dear Trojan Faculty and Staff,
Today our 2020 graduating class of 19,800 students from 114 countries took flight. Over 35,000 people tuned in to watch today’s celebration live, broadcast in three different languages, and more will join throughout the day. You have made this remarkable tribute possible during unimaginable circumstances, and at every turn you went above and beyond what was needed for our students. Our university is stronger and more bonded than ever before, as witnessed by the countless emotional emails, postings, and photographs we have been receiving all morning.
Every graduation brings with it a swelling of pride for these students who have worked so hard to earn their diplomas and the recognitions they deserve. This year, however, is very different for them and for us. Parents and loved ones gathered away from our beautiful campus to watch a graduating class of Trojans be honored in the only safe way possible. The long days and nights of this last semester were taxing, and I know were not easy for you or your families. You made sacrifices day after day to protect the university, our students, and our patients.
In my conversations with so many of you, time and time again, you wanted to do more, reach out more, and offer more to those in need. Your mission was universal—you wanted to ensure that everything possible was being done to preserve this special place and protect those people we serve on all our campuses, at all our hospitals, and in all our facilities.
You are the foundation of this institution, and you have shored us up, kept us safe, and have continued to do the work of this great university. As we turn our vision to the future, I want to thank you for all you have done these past few months. While we honor and send off the class of 2020, I also honor you and am grateful for your work and unfailing dedication to USC.
Carol L. Folt