This past year, HGSE students listened to and learned from each other through their computer screens, sometimes across great distances and multiple time zones, but as this year’s graduating class of 670 students from 62 countries gathered remotely one final time for commencement, the relationships they’ve developed and their dedication to improving education around the world in a pandemic serves as a reminder that HGSE is not just a spot on the map.
From providing New York City’s public schools with outdoor classrooms for learning to developing programs that support student and family wellbeing to defending dissertations online, the class of 2021 has shown that HGSE exists not just on Appian Way but is reflected and sustained in the connections between its graduates and the work they do to make meaningful change and impact.
“I personally want to thank all of you for your perseverance, your patience, your innovative spirit, your hopefulness, and — most of all — your commitment to joining with us and other educators to change the world through education,” said Dean Bridget Long in her commencement address. “I wish you every happiness as you continue your journeys, wherever you are in the world. It is work that we will do together.”
After receiving 466 nominations for 68 faculty members, the Morningstar Teaching Award, given each year to a faculty member for excellence is teaching, was presented to the HGSE faculty as a whole, in recognition of the remarkable innovations and adaptations they developed that will continue to impact instruction at HGSE in the years to come.
As a reminder of all the incredible pivots made by educators not just on the HGSE faculty but across the world, Long asked the graduates to make this year a turning point — to lean into their essential roles as educators, to learn from their vulnerabilities and cultivate resilience, and to have faith in what’s possible.
“This is definitely not the time to give up,” she said. “To the contrary, now is the time to take action so that we can ensure that this is not a lost year but is in fact a turning point.”
Commencement Week 2021 in Pictures
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In most cases, photos are courtesy of the HGSE graduates pictured. Zoom screenshots have been captured by HGSE's Office of Marketing and Communications.