Completing four years of DVM education with unprecedented challenges, the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine Class of 2020 graduated Friday, with a virtual Oath and Hooding ceremony via Zoom.
For the first time since the class size was raised in 2012, the CVM graduated 100 class members. That includes Samantha Lin, a beloved member of the class who received her degree posthumously. To honor Lin, who died in a traffic accident last August, a scholarship has been endowed in her name.
Faculty members Mat Gerard and Abi Taylor, chosen by the class to perform the hooding ceremony, read each class member’s brief biography as their photos flashed on the screen. Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies Kate Meurs read the names of the three students who earned a Ph.D. The graduates took the Veterinarian’s Oath together.
CVM Class of 2020 Oath and Hooding
Dean Paul Lunn praised the resilience, unity and strength of the class in the face of multiple challenges. Some of these included not only the shocking loss of a classmate, but the disruption of their final semester by the need to switch to distance learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The class also dealt with the disruptions of two hurricanes, Florence and Dorian, in 2018 and 2019, respectively, and volunteered to help those in need following the disasters. On a more positive note, the class was also the first to participate in the popular house system patterned similarly to the system in the Harry Potter books.
“What a class this has been,” Lunn said. “You are likely the best we have ever known.”
The Class 2020 chose Joe Wiggins to be their speaker. In a movingly personal speech, Wiggins encouraged his classmates to always remember what their inspiration was entering veterinary medicine, to stay dedicated to the profession, and maintain their passion for it.
He also noted how the challenges they had faced had brought them closer together and prepared them for dealing with whatever the future may bring.
CVM Class of 2020
Wiggins urged his classmates to remember that when they are faced with pressures in the future, they should recall a Ghanaian proverb: “It is not taboo to go back and fetch what you have forgotten,” he said. “To me, that means throughout life we have relied on resources, lessons and people to help us grow … . It is not taboo to rely on them in our future endeavors, as well.”
~Steve Volstad/NC State Veterinary Medicine
We asked Class of 2020 students to share in their own words what their CVM experience has meant to them. Read their stories here.