You are here: American University School of Education Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy's Commencement Message to SOE Class of 2020

SOE Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy's Commencement Letter to Class of 2020

Dear Class of 2020 SOE Graduates,

I write you with hearty congratulations on your graduation this weekend! Despite all odds----a global pandemic and rapid mid-semester transitions---you persisted!! Your legacy, SOE Class of 2020, will be one of resilience and fortitude. 

You have taken this crisis to task with equity and education in mind: How can teachers support students with learning disabilities in online environments? How can we fight xenophobia that is ever more pronounced in this time? How can teachers support the math learning of their elementary students when they are grieving losses due to COVID-19? What are the right policies to ensure all students have access to the virtual resources they need for academic, emotional, and social needs?

Class of 2020, you are also a particularly special class for the School of Education. Not only because you have endured COVID-19, but because you are our very first spring graduating class as an independent School of Education. As you go out in the world to educate and lead—you will be paving the way for future SOE Eagle Changemakers. Thank you for being a shining example of our vision for our newly independent school.

I also write to you with profound acknowledgement of the incredible losses that you and your families have endured during this global pandemic. One of those considerable losses is the traditional pomp and circumstance celebration that this milestone deserves. I wish that, as in year’s past, I could congratulate you in person on our beautiful campus as we celebrate your accomplishment together. However, since the onset of COVID-19, we have had to develop ways to recognize and celebrate with you at a distance.  

Attached to this email are graphics that we designed to celebrate your graduation. We are including specifications and printing instructions for lawn signs, a backdrop, and social media cutouts that you can have printed in advance of our online commencement ceremony tomorrow, May 9th

In addition, we would love it if you would share your graduation photos on social media! Show SOE pride by:

  • Tagging our social media handles (@AU_School of Ed; @AUSchoolofEducation) in your post
  • Using the hashtags #2020SOEGRAD and #2020AUGRAD in your message 

We will share your pictures with our followers across all our channels. If we are not able to celebrate together in person, at least we can do it virtually! Also, our faculty and staff have prepared this congratulatory video for you and your families. Enjoy!

You, perhaps more than any graduation cohort, deserve a real celebration for making it to the finish line! I could not be prouder of you all—You are already the real Eagle changemakers

Please take care, stay well, and keep in touch with us!

Best to you always,

Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, PhD
Dean and Professor
School of Education
American University

Message from Dean Holcomb-McCoy to Class of 2020


AU SOE Dean Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy congratulates SOE Class of 2020.