Vassar College held virtual Commencement today to celebrate the accomplishments of the more than 600 graduates of the Class of 2020. The COVID-19 outbreak forced the college to postpone its in-person Commencement exercises for the first time since the annual ceremonies began in 1867.
Award-winning producer Jason Blum, Class of '91, gave the Commencement Address. In a nod to these scary times, Blum, who has produced such chilling films as Paranormal Activity, Get Out and The Invisible Man, had a timely message to the graduates in the midst of a global pandemic: Don't be scared.
In a speech he dubbed Lessons You Need to Survive and Thrive in a Horror Movie, Blum said: "You can get scared and intimidated or daunted (by the future) or you can look at it as the next great adventure. The challenge can make you stronger: Pandemics, like all crises, are the mothers of invention."
The graduates were represented by Senior Class President Heather Nguyen. She and her classmates were welcomed into the Vassar community of graduates by Steve Hankins '85, president of the Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College.
Vassar President Elizabeth Bradley thanked the graduates for what they had taught her over the years. "I learned that students are fearlessly consequential here," she said. "They care and are deeply engaged in the life of the school, it's culture, and it's community."