April 22, 2021

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Hoyer to UMD Grads: ‘Class of 2020 Has Had to Be Fearless’

Class of 2020
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer Facebook photo

Congressman Steny H. Hoyer delivered the commencement address to spring 2020 graduates of the University of Maryland, College Park during a virtual ceremony May 22.

Rep. Hoyer graduated from Maryland in 1963.  He urged students to take the fearlessness they learned at Maryland and apply it to their futures.

“Graduates, President [Wallace] Loh invited me to be your speaker at a Terps’ basketball game in early February. Like all of you, we expected to be back at the Xfinity Center today with some 15,000 graduates, parents, relatives, faculty, and friends. Like all of you, we expected your fellow graduate Anthony Cowen and his teammates to play in the Final Four. Neither was to be. Certainly, there is a lot that wasn’t to be this year,” Congressman Hoyer (D-MD) said.

“You are graduating at a time of great uncertainly. You’re worried for your health and the health of your loved-ones. You’re worried about record unemployment and what that means for your future careers. None of us has ever experienced anything exactly like this before.”

He asked the graduates to think back and recognize how many trials they had already faced and overcome.

“Your college years have coincided with a period of division in our politics and society; COVID-19’s catastrophic attack on our health and economy; a reckoning with the climate crisis that will profoundly affect your generation; and we have been given a telling lesson on why achieving universally available health care is so important. And now, what ought to have been a day of celebration has been tempered by our commitment to defeat this virus and re-energize our economy,” he said.

As a result, he said, the graduates were celebrating one of the high points of their lives — virtually, noting that to that extent, their graduation might be the most unique in Maryland’s history of graduations.

“Class of 2020, I know that you will meet today’s challenges – and those you face in the years ahead, with resilience and resolve,” he said. “More than most graduating classes, the class of 2020 has had to be fearless. The months and years ahead will surely be challenging. The economy you are entering is struggling. However, you will be better prepared to navigate these challenging times because of the tests you faced at Maryland. Now you must apply the fearlessness you acquired at Maryland to your future endeavors. Whatever they may be, I pray they will contribute to the success of our country and to a greater unity and civility among our people in the years to come.

To read the congressman’s entire remarks, click here.

To view the graduation ceremony, go to the University of Maryland website.

Follow Congressman Hoyer on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader member page.

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